December 25, 2020 

Report: Duke women’s basketball ends season

Blue Devils are first Power Five team to opt out amid COVID-19

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Duke head coach Kara Lawson. (Photo: Duke Women’s Basketball via Twitter)

Duke women’s basketball has ended its season, the Associated Press reported Friday, nine days after pausing activities due to two new COVID-19 cases within the program.

Following a home loss to Louisville on Dec. 9, Duke head coach Kara Lawson was asked about her “comfort level” regarding continuing the season as COVID-19 cases rose in North Carolina.

“I don’t think we should be playing right now. That’s my opinion on it,” Lawson said.

That game would end up being the Blue Devils’ last, as their very next game was postponed due to contact tracing issues within the team. The program officially went on pause on Wednesday, Dec. 16.

The Ivy League’s eight teams were the first to opt out of the 2020-21 Division I women’s basketball season, followed by Cal State Northridge and the MEAC’s Bethune-Cookman, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Florida A&M.

Duke, which started 3-1 under first-year head coach Lawson, is the first Power Five team to end its season after having played games.

The decision reportedly does not affect the men’s basketball team, though men’s head coach Mike Krzyzewski expressed similar concerns a day before Lawson’s remarks and the men’s team canceled the rest of its non-conference schedule on Dec. 10.

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