Party crashers

Feb. 03, 2013 @ 06:47 PM

 It was set up to be a celebration for North Carolina. Duke never let the party get started.

UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell was trying to become the third women’s basketball coach with 900 career victories, but the Blue Devils had a 31-point advantage at halftime and cruised to an 84-63 win Sunday at Carmichael Arena.

With a sizable group of Hatchell’s former players among the crowd of 5,613, No. 5 Duke (20-1, 10-0) went on a 29-3 run in the first half and led 40-10 after just 15 minutes.

It was the fifth straight win in the series for the Blue Devils, who have started 10-0 in ACC play for the second consecutive season and the sixth time overall.

Hatchell fell to 899-317 in her career, including 31-32 against Duke. Her next chance for No. 900 is Thursday at Boston College (9-12, 3-7).

“I really don’t know what to say,” Hatchell said. “The first half, we weren’t even hardly in the gym – I didn’t know what was going on. But Duke’s a great team, they have lots of weapons and they were really shooting the ball well and getting some open looks.”

The nation’s most accurate 3-point shooting team at 42.4 percent, the Blue Devils made 7 of their 9 shots from behind the arc in the first half, equaling the amount of total field goals the Tar Heels had in 34 attempts.

“I’m really proud of my team in terms of our focus coming out, being away from (home),” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “A really focused and aggressive effort by our team.”

The three losses for No. 11 UNC (20-3, 8-2) have all come against current Top 10 teams, including No. 9 Tennessee and No. 10 Maryland, but by a combined 92 points.

Junior Chloe Wells had a career-high 18 points on 6 of 7 shooting from behind the arc and sophomore center Elizabeth Williams posted her eighth career double-double with 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for the Blue Devils.

Senior point guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt had 18 points for the Tar Heels, made 11 of 12 free throws and added six assists and five steals, but shot 3 of 14 from the field and had 11 turnovers.

Duke carried the momentum over from its last game against Miami, when it outscored the Hurricanes 53-14 in the second half. Every Duke starter had multiple field goals in the first eight minutes Sunday, starting a 29-3 run that put the Blue Devils up 36-7.

“This team is learning how good they can be when they play together,” McCallie said.

”They’re getting a taste of it, especially in the second half against Miami and the first half today, they’re getting a sense of this what we have to do – we have to use everybody. And it’s fun to play that way.”

With three minutes left in the first half the Tar Heels had more turnovers (13) than points (10), and the Blue Devils led by as many as 33 with 18:26 remaining.

“We just came out really focused,” Williams said. “We were making all the right decisions, making the right passes and getting good shots off that. Defensively, we were getting consistent shots, and that led to our offense.”

UNC played better in the second half, shooting 45.2 percent to Duke’s 35.5 percent and getting as close as 18 with 12:33 left on a lay-up by Brittany Rountree. But Tricia Liston knocked down a corner 3 on Duke’s next possession, and followed with another jumper to extend the lead back to 23.

Though the game wasn’t as bloody as last year’s meeting between the teams at Carmichael, when Duke’s Haley Peters received 17 stitches after catching an elbow, there were plenty of bodies on the floor and technical fouls on Duke’s Chelsea Gray and UNC’s Xylina McDaniel, who both refused to give up the ball after a tie-up between the players.

Gray was also knocked down by Danielle Butts en route to a lay-up in the first half.

“It was quite physical,” McCallie said. “We’re physical too. It was just a physical game all the way around.”

In the end, no amount of physical play could stop Duke from spoiling Hatchell’s mood.

“The first half,” Hatchell said. “I don’t know how much worse it could have been.”

No. 5 DUKE 84, No. 11 NORTH CAROLINA 63















Percentages: FG .462, FT .619.

3-Point Goals: 11-18, .611 (Wells 6-7, Liston 3-6, Gray 1-2, Jones 1-3).

Team Rebounds: 8.

Blocked Shots: 3 (Williams 2, Vernerey).

Turnovers: 22 (Gray 5, Jones 5, Liston 3, Peters 3, Williams 2, Johnson 2, Jackson).

Steals: 8 (Wells 3, Jones 2, Gray 2, Peters).

Technical Fouls: Gray.














Percentages: FG .333, FT .783.

3-Point Goals: 3-12, .250 (Buckland 1-1, Ruffin-Pratt 1-2, Rountree 1-7, Johnson 0-1, Butts 0-1).

Team Rebounds: 3.

Blocked Shots: 6 (Gross 2, Rolle 2, Ruffin-Pratt, McDaniel).

Turnovers: 24 (Ruffin-Pratt 11, McDaniel 4, Rountree 3, Rolle 2, Butts, Gross).

Steals: 11 (Ruffin-Pratt 5, Rountree 3, McDaniel, Gross, Coleman).

Technical Fouls: McDaniel.

Duke                50;34;—;84

North Carolina19;44;—;63



Officials_Bryan Brunette, Edward Sidlasky, Billy Smith.