Men’s Ball Was Used During First Half Of Duke – FSU Women’s Game, Blue Devils’ Coach Wants To Appeal The Loss

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Duke and Florida State women’s basketball played the entire first half of their recent matchup with a men’s ball, according to Blue Devils’ head coach Kara Lawson.

It’s been nearly a week since the contest, but Lawson is still frustrated by the situation.

Following Duke’s win over Pitt on Thursday night, Lawson ended her press conference by speaking about the ball error during her team’s loss at FSU this past Sunday.

“This would never happen in a men’s game. This would never happen,” Lawson said. “It’s embarrassing for our sport.”

The circumference of a men’s ball is one inch larger than a women’s ball, plus it weighs two ounces more than the ball used in the women’s game. It’s unclear if the ball used during the first half identified as a men’s or women’s ball, but Lawson and the Blue Devils are convinced it was male.

The wrong-sized ball was discovered at halftime after Duke went just 7-for-34 from the field in the opening half. A Duke assistant went to check on the ball at the scorer’s table, which is when game officials changed the ball to start the second half.

Kara Lawson has been the head coach of the Duke women’s basketball team since 2020. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

Lawson told the media that she wanted to appeal the game, but the conference wouldn’t let her.

She understands that both team’s played with the exact same ball in the first half, which FSU led 30-22 at the break, but then made the ‘what if’ argument if the proper-sized ball was used throughout the game.

“Let me be clear: Florida State beat us,” Lawson said. “They beat us playing with a men’s ball in the first half and a women’s ball in the second half. But I can’t say if we’d have played with a women’s ball in the first half and the second half that we would have won. But they can’t say that, either.”

While you can argue that Lawson is simply sticking up for her players here, her simply mentioning the idea of appealing the game is embarrassing.

It’s a shame, and also kind of hilarious, that a very high-level women’s basketball game was played with the wrong-sized ball, but Florida State outscored Duke in the opening two quarters using the same ball the Blue Devils were using. FSU then went on to outscore Duke by nine in the third quarter, with the women’s ball and walked away with a 70-57 win at the final whistle.

Written by Mark Harris


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  1. The coach wants to blame everyone else, but how TF do the players play an entire half and not realize it’s a mens ball? Sometimes in college practices a women’s ball would get mixed into the men’s rack. We’d shoot 1 shot, maybe 2 shots max with it before it was recognized and thrown out. I know the game moves fast, but you have to at least realize it during free throws.

  2. “It’s unclear if the ball used during the first half identified as a men’s or women’s ball, but Lawson and the Blue Devils are convinced it was male.” hahaha. Line of the Year candidate

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