News Worms
News Worms

UNC ties a program record in win over Duke at Dean Dome

UNC ties a program record in win over Duke at Dean Dome

Now that he does have the experience, though, the hope is that it will spark both Johnson and the Tar Heels down the stretch after a 5-5 start in the ACC. But it produced one of the bloodiest moments in rivalry history.

The Tar Heels opened the second half on a 16-2 run to erase what was left of Duke's early lead and go ahead for good.

But for those really paying attention, the striking development was the Blue Devils finally had a replacement at point guard for Tyus Jones, who turned pro after helping Duke win the national title in 2015. After getting outrebounded 21-16 by the break, North Carolina responded. Duke was coming off a stupefying loss to a St. John's team that had lost 11 straight.

There are lessons for both North Carolina and Duke to take from Thursday night's game as they both look to close the regular season out strong.

Once again, Johnson was a hero with eight total rebounds - four on offense, four on the defensive end.

What that means is North Carolina is finally embracing the lineup that we've all known for a while to be this team's best path to success: Joel Berry II, Williams, Pinson, Johnson and Maye. He not only hit four of North Carolina's 11 threes, effectively taking advantage of the reluctance of Duke's bigs to step away from the rim, but he also grabbed six of their 20 offensive rebounds.

North Carolina went from looking a step slow and struggling to keep Duke's touted freshmen off the boards to roaring out of halftime with an aggressive edge on the way to a rousing win. Not to worry though, UNC made a comeback.

Kenny Williams might, too.

According to Synergy Sports, North Carolina ranks fifth in the ACC in spot-up efficiency: 1.01 points per possession, 39.1 percent shooting (52.6 eFG%). In its win against UNC-CH, State shot an impressive 50 percent from beyond the arc.

It was a refreshing performance especially after seeing the Tar Heels get sloppy with the basketball in ACC play this season. Bagley (15 points, 16 rebounds) was responsible for almost half of Duke's boards, while his teammates seemed to just be standing around and waiting for him to carry them to the finish line. After disintegrating for much of the second half, the Blue Devils had made it a one-possession game with just under five minutes left. It looked like Duke was ready to bounce back in the first half, but the Blue Devils couldn't match UNC's second-half surge. "They could match it, but we had already been riding the wave and our crowd was into it, we were feeding off the crowd and it's hard to come back from that".

CHAPEL HILL-On and off the court, Marvin Bagley III rarely shows emotion.

Marquis Godwin scored 12 on 4-of-5 shooting on 3s for ODU (18-5, 9-2 C-USA), which knocked down 12 of 25 from long distance. They were just 4 of 14 from the 3-point line in the second half. Zafir Williams added 11 points for the Lions, who lost for the 13th time in the past 15 games. It came about nine seconds after a North Carolina steal. Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks combined to make one three-pointer in 12 seasons, and now they have a starting center who has attempted at least two three-pointers in all but one game this year.

Krzyzewski's teams historically have been exceptional (in the rare cases when it was necessary) at extending games and forcing other teams to do themselves in.


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