by Mike Potter
Duke will face another road challenge from a nationally-ranked opponent while N.C. State will look to get out of a tie for the ACC cellar in women’s basketball action tonight.
The Wolfpack (11-5, 1-9 ACC) will travel to Virginia Tech (11-4, 1-9) for a 7 p.m. matchup, looking for its first conference road win of the season.
And at 7:30 the No. 7 Blue Devils (23-2, 9-1 ACC) will visit bitter rival No. 16 Maryland (20-5, 6-4) in what will undoubtedly be another big, hostile crowd in College Park.
Duke has dropped two of its last five games, but they were on the road to defending NCAA champion Connecticut and archrival UNC. Maryland has lost two straight games.
Duke won the teams’ first meeting of the season 71-64 on Jan. 6 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The series between Duke and Maryland is tied with 37 wins apiece, with the Blue Devils on a four-game winning streak in the series.
The State-Tech contest is a battle between two former Western Carolina coaches, the Wolfpack’s Kellie Harper and the Hokies’ Beth Dunkenberger. State has never lost in 11 meetings with the Hokies.
The Wolfpack has lost eight straight ACC games while the Hokies got their first ACC win of the season on Monday night, 68-56 over Clemson.
Following tonight’s action, Duke’s next game is at home on Sunday at noon against the Hokies, while NCSU hosts UNC on Monday night at 7.
N.C. State vs. Virginia Tech
[Thursday, 7 p.m., Cassell Coliseum]
Audio: WKNC-FM 88.1.
Records: NCSU 11-15, 1-9 ACC; VT 11-14, 1-9.
Coaches’ records — NCSU: Kellie Harper 125-94, 30-29 at NCSU; VT: Beth Dunkenberger 175-149, 110-99 at VT.
Leading scorers — NCSU: Bonae Holston 15.7; VT: Shanel Harrison 13.0.
Leading rebounders — NCSU: Bonae Holston 8.1; VT: Shanel Harrison 5.8.
Assist leaders — NCSU: Amber White 3.6; VT: Nikki Davis 4.6.
No. 7 Duke vs. No. 16 Maryland
[Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Comcast Center]
Audio: WDNC 620.
Records: Duke 23-2, 9-1 ACC; UM 20-5, 6-4.
Coaches’ records — Duke: Joanne P. McCallie 421-172, 105-24 at Duke; UM: Brenda Frese 274-108, 217-78 at UM.
Leading scorers — Duke: Jasmine Thomas 14.3; UM: Alyssa Thomas 13.6.
Leading rebounders — Duke: Krystal Thomas 8.3; UM: Lynetta Kizer 7.6.
Assist leaders — Duke: Jasmine Thomas 3.3; UM: Anjale Barrett 4.4.