SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Celeste Taylor scored 14 points and No. 16 Duke came from behind for a 57-52 victory at No. 9 Notre Dame on Sunday to move into first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Trailing for most of the game’s first 28 minutes, the Blue Devils (20-3, 10-2 ACC) took the lead for good in the final minutes of the third quarter to knock off the Fighting Irish (18-4, 9-3) before a sellout crowd of 9,149 at Purcell Pavilion.
A jumper by Jordyn Oliver put Duke ahead 45-44 with 1:20 left in the third quarter and the visitors never trailed after that.
“I’m proud of my players for finishing the game,” Duke coach Kara Lawson said.
Duke led 48-46 going into the fourth quarter after trailing Notre Dame by as many as five points in the third quarter. A steal by Elizabeth Balogun in the final 15 seconds helped seal the win.
A 13-4 run helped Notre Dame take its biggest lead of the first half for either team at 31-23. The Irish led 31-25 at halftime.
“We fell short, but you know it’s a part of our growth,” Irish coach Niele Ivey said. “It’s part of our journey.”
Taylor scored 10 points for Duke in the second half. Balogun and Shayeann Day-Wilson finished with 9 points apiece and Taya Corosdale and Oliver had 8 each.
Maddy Westbeld, playing all 40 minutes, led Notre Dame with 15 points, Sonia Citron scored 14 and Olivia Miles added 11.
“She’s one of the best players in the country,” Lawson said of Miles, who logged just over 31 minutes. “We didn’t have to go against her for a quarter of the game.”
Neither team shot well in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame made just 2 of 13 shots from the floor and Duke was 3 of 13.
“We just talked about staying disciplined defensively and making it hard,” Lawson said. “I though we challenged shots.”
Ivey also addressed that stretch of the game.
“Some of those opportunities were in transition and we didn’t get a chance to capitalize,” she said. “We did a good job of finding the open person, we just didn’t nail the shots.”
Led by Corosdale and Oliver, Duke enjoyed a 21-4 edge in reserve scoring.
“I’m really proud of my players off the bench,” Lawson said. “Jordyn Oliver was really good.
“We needed to have that depth in scoring. Not only did they score but they were efficient from the field.”
The Blue Devils’ bench shot 9 of 15.
Notre Dame graduate student Dara Mabrey was lost for the season in the Jan. 22 game against Virginia.
Lauren Ebo, a 6-foot-4 graduate student, has missed the last three games with a lower-body injury.
“Ebo does a great job of being a precence on the block with her size and ability to rebound and play post defense,” Ivey said. “She’s been working really hard (at rehabilitation).
“It’s kind of day to day.”
Notre Dame: The Irish fell out of a first-place tie with Duke in the ACC standings.
Duke: The Blue Devils are now alone atop the conference standings.
Notre Dame: The Irish meet Pitt in two of the next four contests – on Thursday in South Bend and on Sunday, Feb. 19 at Pittsburgh.
Duke: The only regular-season meeting between the Blue Devils and Boston College is Thursday at Boston.