By Eric Eversley, Staff Writer
The Armstrong State University Lady Pirates fell in an exhibition matchup to the #1 ranked (NCAA division I) Duke University Blue Devils 100-45 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.
It was the first time an Armstrong women’s basketball team has faced an ACC opponent since the 80-71 loss to Georgia Tech on Jan. 6, 1979.
With a roster that included nine players six feet tall or above, Duke shot 52.1 percent from the field and outrebounded the Pirates 68-37. They also held the Pirates to a 23.7 shooting percentage (9 of 38) in the second half to close out the game. The Pirates did show solid defense forcing the Blue Devils into 25 turnovers, compared to their own 21.
“It was an amazing once in a lifetime experience,” Senior Amber Howell said when asked about her team’s visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium. She continued, “We scored 45 points against one of the top teams in the country. I’m going into the season confident that we can compete with and beat anybody we play.”
Armstrong was picked to finish fourth in the preseason Peach Belt coach’s poll, but senior Amber Johnson has different plans after this exhibition matchup. When asked about her feelings going into the regular season, she responded, “I think my team has what it takes to get a ring this year. It was a very tough game but it really showed me that my team doesn’t give up. We have all the pieces to be a great team.”
The Lady Pirates will resume preseason action on Nov. 6 against cross-town rival Savannah State in the annual “Battle By The Marsh” exhibition game at Tiger Arena. Tip off will take place at 6:00 p.m.