Almost 36 hours after students rushed the court to celebrate a 74-66 win over No. 5 Duke, UNC will be back at the Smith Center today to take on Wake Forest (12:07 p.m., WRAL).
What had been an 11-point Duke lead with 15 minutes to play slowly melted away and the Tar Heels beat Duke 74-66 at the Smith Center.
BIG SECOND HALF RALLY FROM 11-POINT HOLE LIFTS HEELS PAST NO. 5 DEVILS
Marcus Paige scored all 13 of his points in the second half as UNC beat Duke 74-66 on Thursday.
Leslie McDonald added a season-high 21 points for the Tar Heels (19-7, 9-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who rallied from 11 down in the second half to snap a two-game home losing streak to the Blue Devils (21-6, 10-4).
The Tar Heels shot 47 percent and even made their last 10 free throws in the final 6 minutes after a disastrous start at the line, providing a rousing finish befitting the long-running rivalry.
Jabari Parker and Quinn Cook both scored 17 points to lead Duke, which led 51-40 with about 15 minutes left before going ice cold from the field. The Blue Devils missed 13 straight shots and went scoreless for 6 minutes at one point, helping the Tar Heels climb their way back into the game.
Duke shot 36 percent (11 for 31) after halftime and finished 5 for 22 from 3-point range for the game.
Stephanie Mavunga had 17 points and 10 rebounds and No. 11 North Carolina opened the second half with a 24-7 run and beat Virginia 80-74.
The No. 5 Blue Devils edged Maryland 69-67 at Cameron Indoor Stadium last Saturday and dominated Georgia Tech 68-51 in Atlanta on Tuesday night. Next up are the biggest challenges. Because of the postponement of last week’s North Carolina game due to a winter storm, Duke has a rescheduled game at UNC tonight (9:10 p.m., ESPN/WRAL) and a rematch with No. 1 Syracuse at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday (7 p.m., ESPN).
North Carolina coach Roy Williams said he was “very disappointed” that UNC’s game against Duke last Wednesday was postponed. But after the Tar Heels picked up two more big wins over the past week, his team should be even more prepared when the storied rivalry resumes tonight at the Smith Center (9:10 p.m., ESPN/WRAL).
The Tar Heels have won seven games in a row.
After scoring 30 in a defeat of Duke, UNC freshman Diamond DeShields scores 38 as Tar Heels topple N.C. State
Next up in red-hot UNC's hectic week is a road game against the Seminoles.
North Carolina forward James Michael McAdoo didn’t look like himself during the Tar Heels’ 75-71 win over No. 25 Pittsburgh in the Smith Center on Saturday.
No. 25 Pitt (20-5, 8-4 ACC) will travel to Chapel Hill for the first time as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference to face North Carolina (16-7, 6-4 ACC) in a nationally televised game at the Smith Center Saturday (1 p.m., WRAL).
Allisha Gray and Diamond DeShields combined for 40 points in leading No. 17 North Carolina to an 86-50 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday night at Carmichael Arena.
HISTORIC POSTPONEMENT LEAVES TAR HEELS, BLUE DEVILS IN LINE FOR TOUGH WEEK
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said it was “the right decision” to postpone Wednesday night’s Duke-UNC game at Chapel Hill, while North Carolina coach Roy Williams said “it was very disappointing… but I understand that safety issues come first.”
With the teams now set to face off Thursday, Feb. 20 at 9 p.m. (WRAL/ESPN) — again at UNC — both are looking at a difficult stretch of games next week.
Wednesday marked the first time that the rivalry game had to be rescheduled.
“It was a smart thing to do,” Krzyzewski said on his SiriusXM satellite radio show “Basketball and Beyond.” “Their fans were not able to get to the game. We couldn’t even get a bus here. The main route you have to take there was a parking lot. The other thing you worry about is your own players traveling to get here and get back. It was a good decision.”
Under normal circumstances, Duke’s traveling party leaves via chartered bus around 7:15 p.m. for a 9:10 p.m. game at the Smith Center.
Due to Wednesday’s weather, the team moved its departure time back to 6 p.m. Duke assistant sports information director Matt Plizga said school officials were monitoring the weather as the storm hit with full force around 1:30 p.m. and began contemplating a proper departure time.
A clue as to how bad things were, Plizga said, was when the company that provides Duke’s pre-game catered meal had yet to arrive to feed the team. That crew left Chapel Hill at 1:30 p.m. and eventually arrived at Duke around 5 p.m.
The decision to cancel the game was made after it became clear that Duke wouldn’t be able to make it.
The Duke women’s tennis team received the No. 1 ranking in the nation Tuesday, as announced by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). The announcement comes one day after the Blue Devils’ captured the ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Charlottesville, Va.