Maria Gakdeng needed just 2 blocks tonight to beat the single season record of 58 held by Elisabeth Houghton since the 1982-83 season. Gakdeng far surpassed that tonight, recording 6 blocks (and 16 points and 8 rebounds) in BC’s 67-51 win over Duke.
Both teams started the game with some sloppy passing and missed shots, but Duke managed to score first, hitting a 3 at 90 seconds into the first quarter. A couple of tricky baskets from Gakdeng helped BC catch up to Duke’s scoring, and the Eagles took their first lead just under halfway through the first quarter off a Cam Swartz jumper. The Eagles forced a couple of turnovers as the quarter wound down, including one that ended in a Makayla Dickens 3 pointer, and BC ended the quarter up 19-10 after starting the game 0-for-3 on baskets.
The second quarter started much the same as the first, with neither team scoring until Duke broke through around the 90 second mark. The Eagles followed it up with a basket of their own, and their lead stayed steady until Duke went on a mini-run around the halfway point to start cutting it down. Swartz hit a late 3 for BC to beat the shot clock and push the Eagles’ lead back out, and the Eagles went into halftime up
At halftime, Swartz led BC with 9 points, Taylor Soule with 5 rebounds, and Gakdeng with 3 blocks which pushed her into the lead to become BC’s record holder for most blocks in a single season.
The Blue Devils scored first in the third quarter too, this time just over 60 seconds into play. The Eagles didn’t get their first bucket of the quarter until the 7:23 mark, but luckily they held Duke to just that single basket until then. BC followed that basket up with a pair of 3s, the first from Swartz and the second from Dickens, to pad out their lead. Kaylah Ivey followed up with a 3 of her own not long after to push BC’s lead to 44-28. The Eagles ended up taking a 50-35 lead into the fourth quarter, thanks in no small part to the run of 3s.
The fourth quarter started the same as the first 3, although this time Duke hit a single free throw to start off the scoring. Duke continued to dominate however, cutting BC’s lead to 52-43 at the halfway point of the fourth. Gakdeng broke Duke’s 7-0 scoring streak right as the halfway point hit, and her basket helped BC to flip the momentum back.
BC ended up winning this one by a score of 67-51 behind 21 points from Swartz and 16 points from both Gakdeng and Dickens.