The second quarter decided No. 9 Duke’s NCAA tournament game with Hampton, and it could impact how far the Blue Devils last in the postseason.
Hampton scored one basket.
Duke lost one starting guard.
While the Blue Devils were scoring 26 points in a row to blast the Pirates 94-31 in an NCAA tournament first-round game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, sophomore guard Kyra Lambert injured her left knee.
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Hurt on a collision during a chase for a loose ball, Lambert was helped off the court directly to the training room. She returned to the bench in the second half on crutches with her left leg in a brace, her NCAA tournament likely done due to a presumed ligament injury.
Lambert will have an MRI exam on Sunday to determine the full extent of the injury.
“Kyra is out for a long time,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said.
Without her, Duke (28-5) had plenty of firepower to hammer the Mid-Eastern Conference Tournament champion Pirates (20-13) and move into the second round. The Blue Devils will play Oregon on Monday (6:30 p.m.) at Cameron Indoor Stadium with a Sweet 16 berth on the line.
Redshirt junior guard Rebecca Greenwell scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Duke, which is seeded No. 2 in the Bridgeport Region. Freshman Leaonna Odom added 23 as the Blue Devils shot a blistering 62 percent in the easy win.
Lexie Brown had 11 points and nine assists.
“My teammates did a really great job of finding the openings when they were pressing,” Greenwell said. “Lexie did great with her nine assists, but I thought we just all did a really good job of taking advantage of openings in the defense.”
Duke led 17-8 after the first quarter and held a 22-10 advantage after Hampton’s Mikayla Sayle scored with 8:35 to play in the first half. But that was the last points the Pirates scored before halftime as they hit only 1 of 14 field goals in the second quarter.
Hampton shot a frigid 18 percent (12-of-66) for the game.
Greenwell started Duke’s 26-0 run that lasted the rest of the half with a 3-pointer. Her pass to Lambert for a layup continued it.
Lambert’s injury occurred with 4:21 to play in the first half.
Duke suffered through a host of injuries to key players, including Greenwell, last season to go 20-12 and miss the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1994.
Now, seeking to reach the Sweet 16 for the sixth time in the last eight seasons, the Blue Devils must forge ahead without Lambert.
“I’ve never experienced an injury like this in the NCAA tournament,” McCallie said. “I’ve been to a lot of them, and Kyra is a special kid. Just a big heart and she was really coming on. Her game was just taking off. But the team is so resilient. They are a resilient bunch and they have been all year. We’ll just sort of evolve.”
The Blue Devils are 17-0 on their home court this season and will play their final game of the season at Cameron when they face Oregon (21-13). The 10th-seeded Ducks advanced with a 71-70 win over No. 7 seed Temple on Saturday night.