Duke 65, North Carolina 58 (final): The Tar Heels were able to keep it close throughout, but Duke was able to mounted a run every time North Carolina got within striking distance and keep control of this game. The Blue Devils used strong second half play from Alexis Jones to cap off their regular season with a 17-1 record in the ACC and a 27-2 slate overall. Jones finished the game with a career-high 22 points and commanded both ends of the floor.
Duke’s win also came on Senior Day, when it honored center Alison Vernerey, who started for the Blue Devils and finished the game with four points and six rebounds in her final regular season game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke will travel to Greensboro, N.C. next weekend for the ACC tournament and could play its first two NCAA tournament games at home this year, as Durham is one of this year’s NCAA tournament sites and the selection committee tends to keep highly seeded programs close to home.
Duke 48, North Carolina 40 (7:39 second half): Duke has stated to find its form here in the second half, but the Tar Heels aren’t going away just yet. The Blue Devils started to pull away thanks to an 11-0 run, but North Carolina responded with a 6-0 spurt just before the media timeout to keep the game within reach. Duke’s run was sparked by the play of point guard Alexis Jones, whose poise and patience continue to be on display this afternoon as she picks apart the Tar Heel defense. Tricia Liston found the bottom of the net for her first field goal of the game, a 3-pointer that gave the Blue Devils a 48-34 advantage.
Duke 39, North Carolina 34 (11:44 second half): Neither squad has seized control in the second half, with the teams battling back-and-forth for momentum. The second half has played out similarly to the first—stingy defense, physical play and some sloppy execution. At times the physical nature of this game has gotten the best of its participants—North Carolina’s Brittany Rountree was called for a contact technical foul in the half’s opening minutes.
Inspired defensie play by Alexis Jones and Haley Peters allowed the Blue Devils to pull in front, and Jones’ pinpoint dish to Elizabeth Williams for a lay-in underneath allowed Duke to extend its lead to 37-32. The Tar Heels responded with a bucket of their own but Jones added two more from the line to keep the Blue Devils’ lead at five.
Duke 26, North Carolina 27 (halftime): Despite a slow start by both teams, Duke looked as though it was in firm control of this game until a North Carolina run gave the Tar Heels the lead heading into the locker room. North Carolina’s 15-4 run to end the half gave the team its first lead since it was 2-1 in the first half. The Blue Devils struggled with their ball movement to end the half despite utilizing a small lineup with neither Elizabeth Williams nor Alison Vernerey. The Tar Heels found open looks on backdoor cuts as well as midrange jumpers and looks from 3-point range to claw back into the game.
Here are some notable halftime stats:
- Duke shot just 1-for-8 from 3-point range.
- Tricia Liston is scoreless for the Blue Devils.
- North Carolina’s bench has outscored the Duke bench 9-2.
- Duke has turned the ball over 14 times.
- The Blue Devils’ Elizabeth Williams has just two rebounds in 10 minutes of action—Haley Peters is the team’s leading rebounder with five.
Duke 24, North Carolina 19 (2:36, first half): Following a Duke run, the Tar Heels showed they were capable of making a run of their own. The Blue Devils had jumped out to a 22-12 lead before North Carolina went on a 7-0 run to get back within striking distance. Brittany Rountree hit a long 3-pointer to ignite the North Carolina fans in the building. The Tar Heels utilized their bench scoring to get back into the game, as a jumper by Latifah Coleman brought the game back to within three points before Haley Peters answered to push Duke’s lead back to 24-19.
Duke 20, North Carolina 10 (7:08, first half): After a sloppy start to the game, Duke is finally starting to find its shooting stroke and is distancing itself from North Carolina. The Blue Devils have utilized an 8-2 to run to spread their lead to double digits thanks to strong play from freshman point guard Alexis Jones, who finished an acrobatic move at the rim plus the foul and knocked down a long 3-pointer on Duke’s next possession.
Duke 12, North Carolina 8 (11:17, first half): To say the start to this game was a slow one would be a massive understatement. The Blue Devils and Tar Heels have combined to shoot 8-for-27 in the game’s opening eight minutes, including a shaky 1-for-6 for North Carolina at the free throw line. With emotions running high and pressure defense abundant, the teams have combined for 12 early turnovers here at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
There have been bright spots for both sides, however. For the Blue Devils, Haley Peters has knocked down three of her first five attempts from the field to lead the way with six points. The Tar Heels have found their shooting stroke in the last two minutes thanks to an inspired performance off the bench from Megan Buckland.
Welcome folks to your live updates for Duke women’s basketball vs. North Carolina today at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Make sure to follow along here all night for analysis and follow @chroniclesports on Twitter for the most up-to-date game news.
Pregame: The top two teams in the ACC square off at Cameron Indoor Stadium this afternoon as Duke takes on North Carolina. Coming off their first conference loss of the season to Miami on the road, the Blue Devils hope to bounce back against their archrivals as they celebrate Senior Day and honor center Alison Vernerey. Duke (26-2, 16-1 in the ACC) currently sits atop the ACC standings and has clinched its fourth-consecutive regular season conference title. North Carolina (26-4, 14-3) sits just behind them in second place and can clinch the No. 2 seed in next week’s ACC tournament with a win today.
In the teams’ first meeting of the season Feb. 3, the Blue Devils were carried by a hot shooting start and knocked off the Tar Heels in an easy 84-63 victory at Carmichael Arena.
Duke starters: G Alexis Jones, G Tricia Liston, F Haley Peters, F Elizabeth Williams, C Alison Vernerey
North Carolina starters: G Brittany Rountree, G Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, F Krista Gross, F Xylina McDaniel, C Waltiea Rolle