De Jesus is living her dream.
The Duke Blue Devils ousted the Iona Gaels in the opening round of the 2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship with a resounding 89-49 victory. The wire-to-wire win allowed Duke to make it to the second stage of the tournament and gave Fil-Am guard Vanessa De Jesus another opportunity to continue her March Madness journey.
De Jesus contributed 8 points, a rebound, and an assist off the bench on 3-for-5 shooting as the number 1 seed dominated the 14th seed. The Blue Devils were led by forward Elizabeth Balogun and sharpshooter Celeste Taylor, who finished with 13 markers apiece. Balogun made all of her shots from the field while Taylor went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.
Against Iona, all three of De Jesus, Balogun, and Taylor upped their scoring compared to their season averages. Now in her junior year, De Jesus has been notching 4.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists for Duke off the bench. Now that the Blue Devils are in college basketball’s big stage, it looks like the Fil-Am baller and her teammates are well-prepared for the bright lights.
The Blue Devils will need all that bravado and the same level of play as they will take on the Colorado Buffaloes in the second round. Like Duke, Colorado also made light work of their opening assignment, beating the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, 82-60. The clash between the Blue Devils and the Buffaloes will go down on March 21.