In a close rivalry game late, North Carolina failed to score over the last 3:57 while Duke scored the last six points of the game to beat the Tar Heels 63-57 in Durham. (2/4)
It was actually a close game throughout as Carolina led by as many as seven in the first half while Duke led by as many as six in the second half.
Duke’s defense was the difference as the Devils held the Heels to just 25 points in the second half on 28.5 percent shooting and they blocked 11 Carolina shots. Dereck Lively, the Duke freshman, had eight of those blocks to go along with a game-high 14 rebounds.
“I was proud of our team for being ready to compete,” Duke coach Jon Scheyer of his young team. “(Freshman) Dereck Lively just changed the game with his rim protection.”
UNC coach Hubert Davis also heaped praise on Lively.
“Lively blocks and alters shots better than anyone in the country,” Coach Davis said. “Duke is really good defensively. But we have 150 more free throws than anyone in the conference. I have a hard time believing that we only got to the free throw line three times and not once in the second half.”
Yet Carolina was still in throughout. In fact, the Tar Heels held a 50-49 lead with 9:11 left after R.J. Davis drained a step-back three. After a dunk follow by Lively with 8:44 to go, the Heels never led again.
Carolina tied to score three times – first on a three from the left corner by Leaky Black, then on a driving scoop shot by Caleb Love and finally on a turnaround jumper by Pete Nance on his only bucket of the game.
But, while the Heels had several opportunities to take a lead, they failed miserably turning the ball over or missing badly on three-point attempts. Carolina missed its last five shots and was only one of its last nine from the floor.
Carolina seemed relegated to outside shots in the second half as Armando Bacot was only able to get four shots off in the second half.
“We had some wide open looks for three and we just didn’t make it,” Coach Davis said.
Meanwhile, Duke veteran Jeremy Roach was able to get to the hoop and draw fouls, mostly on Davis who was saddled with foul trouble much of the game. Roach finished with a game-high 20 points.
Duke is now 17-6 and 8-4 in the ACC while Carolina, led by Bacot’s 14 points and 10 rebounds, is now 16-8 overall and 7-5 in the conference.
The Tar Heels, losers of two in a row, travel to Wake Forest Tuesday night.
For a box score and more on the game, please click here.