US NCAA: De Jesus continues to impress as Duke routs Western Carolina


Posted at Nov 30 2020 02:40 PM

US NCAA: De Jesus continues to impress as Duke routs Western Carolina 1
Duke freshman Vanessa de Jesus puts up a shot against Western Carolina University. Photo courtesy of Reagan Lunn, Duke Athletics

Filipina freshman Vanessa De Jesus was superb in just her second game for Duke University, scoring 17 points in their 83-56 demolition of Western Carolina University, Sunday at the Cameron Indoor Stadium (Monday in Manila).

The Blue Devils improved to 2-0 in the NCAA season.

De Jesus also had seven rebounds and five assists, while committing just one turnover in nearly 38 minutes of playing time. She knocked down two straight three-pointers to open the game, helping Duke race off to a 14-4 start.

She finished the first half a perfect 6-of-6 from the field, having made all three of her triples and two free throws.

"It's been a dream of mine to play college basketball, especially here at Duke, such a high-level school with amazing players," De Jesus said after the game. "I think just being out there and playing with my teammates makes it so much more enjoyable."

Duke coach Kara Lawson was full of praise for De Jesus after her performance.

"V is like a veteran, even though she's just a freshman," Lawson said of De Jesus, who played high school ball at Sierra Canyon in California and was ranked 37th overall in her recruiting class.

"You can see it when you watch her. She's very composed, doesn't get rattled, understands the game at a high level, knows how to make reads, and understands how to get people involved," she added. 

"She's a great player to coach and it makes you excited," added Lawson, the WNBA legend who is in her first season as head coach of Duke. 

"Through the course of the season there'll be ups and downs for her like there is every freshman, but she's off to a solid start because she's a worker and because she's got a high level of skill and a high level of intelligence with the way that she plays."

Duke led by 31 points late in the game, with Jada Claude's three-pointer making it 83-52 with just over a minute to play.

The Blue Devils hit 13 three-pointers, tying a school record, and had 20 assists to nine turnovers in the game. Sara Anastasieska led the team with 23 points, and Jade Williams had nine points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists.