Duke University women’s basketball coach Joanne P. McCallie announced the 2018-19 non-conference schedule Friday, featuring 10 traditional match-ups and one tournament appearance in the Gulf Coast Showcase in Florida. Of the 10 non-conference opponents the Blue Devils have penciled in, five appeared in the NCAA Tournament last year, with South Carolina and Oregon State both reaching the Elite Eight.
In addition to these two opponents, Duke will also be playing Northwestern, Maine, Elon, Wisconsin, Marist, UNLV, East Carolina and Florida Gulf Coast. In November, the team will partake in the Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, Fla.
Before the season officially kicks off, the Blue Devils will host their annual Blue/White Scrimmage Sunday, Oct. 21 and welcome Alaska Anchorage to Cameron Indoor Stadium in an exhibition game on Sunday, Nov. 4.
Entering her 12th season at Duke, head coach McCallie will feature a much different looking roster in 2018-19 following the graduation of standout guards Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell. The Blue Devils return two starters from a season ago including one of the most athletic players in the nation Leaonna Odom along with Haley Gorecki.
Odom, who averaged 21.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in the NCAA Tournament, is a 6-2 athletic junior forward expected to be an All-America candidate in 2018-19. Gorecki elevated her game as a sophomore prior to being injured. She averaged 17.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.8 steals over a span of 11 contests. The 6-0 guard scored 20 or more points four times over a span of seven contests and hit 37 three-pointers in 12 games.
Duke also returns former starting guards Kyra Lambert and Mikayla Boykin from injury, while welcoming back senior Faith Suggs, sophomore Jade Williams, sophomore Jayda Adams, sophomore Madison Treece, redshirt senior Sofia Roma and redshirt sophomore Emily Shubert. The Blue Devils add four incoming freshmen to the mix including Miela Goodchild (Australia), Onome Akinbode-James (Blairstown, N.J.), Rayah Craig (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Uchenna Nwoke (Grand Prairie, Texas).
2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule
at Northwestern | Nov. 11
The first of four non-conference road trips, Duke’s regular season action will begin with a visit to Illinois to take on Northwestern. The Wildcats and Blue Devils have not previously played, as this contest will represent the first meeting between the two programs. The contest will mark the opening game in the newly renovated Welsh-Ryan Arena. Last season, Northwestern was 7-8 on its home turf, while the Blue Devils played to the tune of a 7-6 record on the road. Heading into the season opener, Duke sports an all-time record of 69-52 against Big 10 teams. Blue Devil head coach Joanne P. McCallie is 1987 graduate of Northwestern and her son, Jack, will be a freshman at Northwestern in the fall of 2018.
at Maine | Nov. 15
Marking the first midweek contest of the season, the Blue Devils travel to Maine to take on the Black Bears for the fourth time in school history. Having won each of the previous three encounters, Duke has averaged 80.7 points while holding Maine to just 34.7 points. In 2017-18, the Black Bears made the trip to Durham and were handed a 69-39 defeat to the Blue Devils. Having previously coached at Maine from 1992-2000, Joanne P. McCallie enters the homecoming with a 52-15 mark versus America East Conference opponents. McCallie is also a native of Brunswick, Maine and is a member of the Maine Sports Legends Hall of Honor, Maine Sports Hall of Fame, University of Maine Athletics Hall of Fame and the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame. Duke will look to build off a 9-1 record of its own against America East teams.
Elon | Nov. 18
Duke is aiming to take control of the all-time series lead versus Elon, as the two teams have split to this point with 4-4 records. Although Elon prevailed in its first four meetings with Duke, the Blue Devils have stormed back to win four in a row against the Phoenix and have not dropped a game in the series since 1977. Against the Colonial Athletic Association, Duke has compiled a 29-7 record to this point.
at Gulf Coast Showcase | Nov. 23-25
The Blue Devils are set to compete in the Gulf Coast Showcase at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla., throughout Thanksgiving weekend. The bracket will officially be released in August and will feature three contests for each team. This will be Duke’s first time participating in the event.
at Wisconsin | Nov. 28
Duke’s second Big Ten opponent of the season, the Blue Devils will travel to Madison for their third-ever battle with the Badgers. Duke won both of its previous contests against Wisconsin, the most recent of which took place on the road in 2010. The Blue Devils are averaging 72.5 points in this young series compared to 58.5 from the Badgers. Duke owns a 9-2 all-time record in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, including a 3-2 mark on the road. It will mark the second time the two schools have faced off in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge as Duke won 59-51 in 2010.
Marist | Dec. 2
Duke’s December action will be kick started by its third all-time contest against Marist. The Blue Devils came out on top in each of the previous two meetings, having averaged 71.0 points against the Red Foxes’ 58.0. With an impressive 15-1 record against Metro Atlantic Conference opponents, Duke last defeated Marist in the NCAA Tournament second round in Durham, N.C., 71-66.
UNLV | Dec. 6
The Blue Devils will play host to UNLV in what will be another debut series match-up in this year’s non-conference schedule. UNLV played to a 7-5 record on the road last season, while the Blue Devils were nearly unbeatable at home, going 16-1 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Undefeated against Mountain West Opponents thus far, Duke flaunts a 5-0 record against its members heading into the contest.
South Carolina | Dec. 9
With the Gamecocks coming off an Elite Eight appearance and 29-7 record a season ago, this will likely be one of the more highly anticipated non-conference tilts in Cameron Indoor in 2018-19. The seventh meeting between these two programs, South Carolina holds a 4-2 series lead over the Blue Devils. Duke is 1-2 against the Gamecocks at Cameron Indoor, but is coming off a 74-63 win in the last meeting Dec. 4, 2016 in Durham, N.C. Heading into its date with South Carolina, Duke boasts a 40-23 record against the Southeastern Conference.
at Oregon State | Dec. 20
Having never visited Corvallis, Ore., Duke will do so for the first time in what will be the second game in two years versus the Beavers. Oregon State made the trip to Durham last season, with the Blue Devils coming out on top, 72-65. Duke features a respectable 15-9 record against Pacific 12 Conference opponents.
East Carolina | Dec. 28
Although the Pirates and Blue Devils have not played since 2002, the two programs have matched-up 15 times prior to this season. This will be East Carolina’s eighth visit to Cameron Indoor, with the Pirates holding a 9-6 series advantage. However, the Blue Devils are riding a five game winning streak against the Pirates heading in. Duke is 25-22 all-time against the American Athletic Conference.
Florida Gulf Coast | Dec. 30
When the Eagles come to Durham in late December, they will represent Duke’s fourth and final contest this season versus a first-time opponent. Florida Gulf Coast is coming off an impressive 31-5 season in 2017-18 in which it went 10-3 as visitors. The Blue Devils will look to fend off these road warriors and extend their 10-0 record against Atlantic Sun Conference opponents.