The Duke Women’s Basketball season started with a bang on Wednesday. The Blue Devils took down the Longwood Lancers by a score of 94-64. On the scoring side, it was a collective effort: sophomore Jaida Patrick led with 21 points and 5 assists, followed by junior Miela Goodchild, who scored 16. Onome Akinbode-James had a monster game on the boards with 16.
The big story from the game was the beginning of the “Kara Era”: head coach Kara Lawson began her career as a head coach. Coach Lawson played for Pat Summit at Tennessee, then in the WNBA. She won a championship with the Sacramento Monarchs in 2005 and was a 2007 All-Star, then won a gold medal in Tokyo in 2008 with Team USA. She was an analyst for ESPN for several years and the first female analyst to call an NBA game on the network in 2007. She’s a coach in 3×3 basketball for Team USA, and became the first female assistant coach to the Boston Celtics in 2019. Duke hired her to succeed Coach Joanne McCallie this summer.
Freshman Vanessa de Jesus stood out, starting at point. She had 13 points and 4 assists. Veteran Mikayla Boykin did not play due to knee soreness; she’s not expected to miss much time.
College basketball kicks off today, for both the men’s and women’s teams. Duke’s men’s team won’t be playing but you can look forward to a game on Saturday, assuming all goes well for both teams on the health and safety side of things.