DURHAM, N.C. – The Buckeyes erased a 17-point deficit but in the end, No. 14 Duke was able to pull away for a 69-60 victory Thursday night in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The setback snapped a six-game win streak for the Buckeyes who fall to 7-2 on the year.
The Buckeyes trailed by as many as 17 points early in the third quarter and used a 17-5 run to end the quarter and scored the first five points of the fourth to erase the deficit and tie the game with 9:15 to go. But Duke would step-up defensively and held OSU to just three points the rest of the way.
Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell led four Blue Devils in double-figures with 19 points each.
For the game, OSU shot just 32.4 percent from the floor and 27.8 percent from long range. The other key stat that was in Duke’s favor was the Blue Devils controlled the boards. Duke led 49-30 on the glass and scored 36 points in the paint compared to 18 for the Buckeyes.
Harper and Doss combined for the first 13 points for the Buckeyes. Both teams got off to a quick start offensively but then came a stretch where neither team could find the range. Playing nearly four minutes without a stoppage, both teams needed a timeout. Duke took advantage and scored eight-straight late in the quarter and led 26-17 after the first. Brown was 3-of-4 from long range in the first quarter and had 13 points.
Duke hit two of its first three three-pointers to open the second quarter and quickly pushed the lead out to 12 points at 39-27, forcing an OSU timeout. The lead swelled to as many as 15, the largest deficit the Buckeyes have faced this season before Mitchell hit a late three. The Buckeyes went to the break trailing 43-31. Duke shot 57 percent in the half while OSU shot just 30 percent.
The teams traded early 5-0 runs at the onset of the quarter forcing each coach to call a timeout. The Buckeye run extended to 8-0 on a Calhoun three and the lead was into single digits. Another three by Calhoun and a runner by Mitchell brought the Buckeyes within five at 55-50 with 2:30 to play in the quarter. The Buckeyes ended the quarter on a 17-5 run and held Duke without a field goal for the final 6:47 of the quarter. The deficit was cut to 57-52 headed to the final quarter.
Harper hit a three, then had a steal and Stephanie Mavunga had a lay-up inside to tie the game at 57-57 just 45 seconds into the quarter. The Buckeyes would then miss 11 of their final 12 shots over the next nine minutes with a Mitchell three as the only make. Duke conversely hit 4-of-6 shots in the last seven minutes to pull away.
The Buckeyes will return home to host Maine on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Value City Arena.
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