UNC sweeps Duke

Mar. 02, 2014 @ 09:35 PM

The North Carolina players made a loop around the court at Carmichael Arena, slapping hands with their fans in the front row. When they got to the locker room they were met by Sylvia Hatchell, who had a hug for each player.

UNC started the season surrounded by uncertainty – about Hatchell, the Hall of Fame coach who would be undergoing chemotherapy treatments for leukemia, and about how a team that relied so heavily on three freshmen starters would do in a tough Atlantic Coast Conference.

With the regular season now completed, there is an air of optimism. The Tar Heels could celebrate a 64-60 win over rival Duke with their coach, who is now cancer-free and is hoping to return in time for the NCAA Tournament.

The game was filled with wild runs – No. 14 UNC (22-8, 10-6 ACC) scored 20 straight points, and No. 7 Duke (25-5, 12-4) immediately countered with 16 straight points of its own.

But the Tar Heels led the entire second half to complete a regular-season sweep of their rival for the first time in six seasons and improve to 7-3 against top 20 teams.

“We’re talented and we feel like we can beat anybody anywhere,” said associate coach Andrew Calder, who is leading the team in Hatchell’s absence. “We could struggle in some games, too. Right now we think we’re getting ready to gel and we’re going to take off.”

UNC freshmen Diamond DeShields (18 points), Stephanie Mavunga (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Allisha Gray (12 second-half points) led the charge, while senior Tricia Liston scored 19 points for the Blue Devils.

With its two regular point guards out for the season with injuries, Duke sent out a lineup in which all five players are at least six feet tall. UNC went with a more conventional three-guard lineup but still managed to outrebound the Blue Devils 35-33, with Mavunga pulling down a game-high 11.

“There is no excuse to be outrebounded,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “That’s the game right there.”

Mavunga said she was inspired to play better after Duke senior center Elizabeth Williams had a career-high 28 points in the first meeting, which UNC won 89-78 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

“It was kind of frustrating after the game to know, like, ‘Oh my gosh I let her score all of those points,’” Mavunga said. “I kind of put it on myself today that I need to really focus and help my team by getting defensive stops.”

Williams was held to 5 of 18 shooting and had three turnovers, while Mavunga had five blocks.

DeShields scored 30 points at Cameron, becoming the first Duke opponent to score that many since 2009. She struggled offensively on Sunday, shooting just 7 of 22, but was proud of her all-around game. DeShields had four assists (to five turnovers), four rebounds and held Liston to four points in the second half.

“I am very capable of scoring, but tonight my shot wasn’t falling,” DeShields said. “There’s other things that Diamond can do. Basically I’m just trying to showcase my talent and my basketball IQ as a whole, not just as a scorer. I can play defense, I can lockdown. … (There) are all parts of my game that didn’t show last time we played Duke, but they showed tonight just because that’s what I had to do.”

Duke made its first five shots to go ahead 11-3 early, but the Tar Heels kept Duke scoreless for over six minutes and scored 11 straight to take a 28-22 lead.

The Blue Devils went back ahead at 31-30 with 1:53 left in the half, but a disastrous finish put UNC ahead to stay. The Tar Heels converted two turnovers into fast-break layups in the final 25 seconds, including a steal and lay-up by Latifah Coleman with one second left.

UNC then scored the first 14 points in the second half to complete the 20-0 run and take a 50-31 lead. Gray, who missed her only two shots in the first half, made her first three 3-pointers after halftime during the stretch, which ended with 16:11 left.

Then it was UNC’s time to go into a scoring drought. The Tar Heels went 9:42 without a point, committing seven turnovers in the process, and Duke scored 16 in a row to cut the deficit to 50-47 with 7:57 remaining.

The Blue Devils got as close as 53-52 with 4:17 to play, but Mavunga led a 7-0 run by UNC to clinch the win.

The freshman center scored on a put-back, assisted on a 3-pointer by Gray and then converted a pass by DeShields into a lay-up. DeShields then hit a jumper at the end of the shot clock to give UNC a nine-point lead with 42 seconds left.

Next up for both teams is the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum. Second-seed Duke has a bye into the quarterfinals and will play Friday at 6 p.m. No. 6 UNC will face either No. 11 Wake Forest or No. 14 Pittsburgh Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

Hatchell will be back in the hospital starting Tuesday for what she hopes is her last round of “mop-up” treatments. Then she said it will be up to her doctors whether she can return to the bench in time of the NCAA Tournament. Carmichael Arena will host first- and second-round games March 23 and 25.

 

 

 

No. 14 NORTH CAROLINA 64, No. 7 DUKE 60

 

FG

FT

Reb

DUKE

Min

M-A

M-A

O-T

A

PF

PTS

Williams

33

5-18

2-2

4-9

0

0

12

Peters

28

1-3

2-4

2-9

4

4

4

Henson

11

1-4

0-0

1-1

0

0

2

Jackson

32

1-3

1-2

0-1

2

1

3

Liston

38

6-12

4-6

1-4

3

1

19

Johnson

29

5-7

2-3

0-4

1

2

12

McCravey-Cooper

6

0-1

0-0

0-0

1

2

0

Chidom

23

4-5

0-0

2-4

1

2

8

Totals

200

23-53

11-17

10-33

12

12

60

Percentages: FG .434, FT .647.

3-Point Goals: 3-7, .429 (Liston 3-5, Johnson 0-1, Peters 0-1).

Team Rebounds: 1.

Blocked Shots: 8 (Williams 5, Chidom 3).

Turnovers: 15 (Peters 4, Liston 4, Williams 3, Jackson 2, Chidom, Johnson).

Steals: 8 (Peters 2, Liston, Chidom, Johnson, Henson, Jackson, Williams).

Technical Fouls: None.

 

FG

FT

Reb

NORTH CAROLINA

Min

M-A

M-A

O-T

A

PF

PTS

Mavunga

32

6-11

0-0

7-11

2

3

12

McDaniel

34

3-6

1-2

2-5

2

1

8

Coleman

27

2-5

0-0

0-1

2

0

5

Gray

25

4-8

0-0

0-3

2

3

12

DeShields

31

7-22

3-4

1-4

4

3

18

Butts

8

1-2

0-0

0-0

0

1

2

Rountree

15

0-0

0-0

0-2

1

3

0

Bryant

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

Washington

22

2-5

2-3

0-4

2

3

7

Summers

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

Totals

200

25-59

6-9

11-35

15

18

64

Percentages: FG .424, FT .667.

3-Point Goals: 8-24, .333 (Gray 4-8, Coleman 1-2, McDaniel 1-3, Washington 1-3, DeShields 1-7, Mavunga 0-1).

Team Rebounds: 5.

Blocked Shots: 5 (Mavunga 5).

Turnovers: 16 (DeShields 5, Coleman 4, McDaniel 3, Washington, Mavunga, Butts, Rountree).

Steals: 6 (Rountree 2, Butts, Gray, McDaniel, Coleman).

Technical Fouls: None.

Duke

31

29—60

North Carolina

36

28—64

A_5,376.

Officials_Eric Brewton, Denise Brooks, Bryan Brunette.