Women’s basketball comes up short against Duke

The women’s basketball team lost its second straight game against a ranked ACC foe, falling against Duke at home, 73-47.

The loss ended Tech’s 18-game home winning streak. The last time the Jackets had lost at home was Jan. 4, 2007. As a result, Tech was knocked out of the top-25 after spending just one week in the rankings.

While Tech saw its home winning streak come to an end, it also saw its woeful record against Duke extend to 28 games. The Jackets have not beaten the Blue Devils for nearly 14 years, dating back to 1994.

Tech was returning home after nearly surviving against then No. 4 Maryland.

Duke dominated for much of the night, taking an early lead and building on it throughout the game. Tech was never able to take the lead and let Duke extendt its lead to 26 over the course of the game.

The first half had Tech falling into a seven-point hole just four minutes into the game, and trailing by double digits for much of the time. The Blue Devils opened the second half by going on a 15-7 run and dissipating any chance Tech could get any closer. They never came closer than 12 points in the second half.

Iasia Hemingway and Chioma Nnamka were the only Jackets in double figures, with 11 and 13 points, respectively.

Tech shot extremely poorly for the game, making just 29 percent of their total shots. They made 10-for-31 shots in the first half and 8-for-31 in the second. Their three-point shot percentage was 20 percent. Still, the most abysmal statistic may have been their free shooting percentage: they went just 8-for-17 as compared to Duke’s 10-for-14.

“What’s really disappointing for us is we didn’t feel like we competed. To lose is one thing, but when you lose and you don’t play hard, that’s a whole other thing,” Head Coach MaChelle Joseph told www.ramblinwreck.com.

While Tech struggled for most of the game, Duke had one of its best games of the season. They shot an even 50 percent from the field for just the second time in the season.

The Blue Devils also dominated in the paint, outscoring and outrebounding the Jackets. Duke scored 42 points to Tech’s 24 inside the paint and had 48 rebounds to Tech’s 31.

With the loss, Tech falls to 3-3 in conference records, losing to all three ranked teams it has played in conference. Tech has only had limited success against the top-25 this season, losing by a large margin to both Duke and North Carolina. Still, they were able to keep it close against Georgia and Maryland before faltering in the last few minutes.

Many on the team were encouraged by the fact that Tech had played many of these games in hostile environments in front of packed arenas and were still able to play well.

The Jackets will likely face only one more top-10 team before the end of the season, hosting the Tar Heels again on Feb. 10. Tech will continue its conference home stand when it hosts Florida State tomorrow at 4 p.m.

Next week, they will visit Miami in a rematch of the thriller played at the AMC at the beginning of January. Tech won the game on a three-point shot at the buzzer. The women’s team played Clemson yesterday, but those results were unavailable at press time.