Duke 60, North Carolina 42 (12:32 second half): North Carolina matched its first half scoring output within the first six minutes of the second period, storming back to keep this game within reach. The Tar Heels opened the half with a string of easy layups and 3-pointers to rim Duke's once-commanding halftime lead to 18 points. The Blue Devils have not been a second half team this season and have failed to play a full 40 minutes of basketball against a quality opponent this season. This game appears to serve as no exception, and as Duke takes a timeout, it appears to be clinging on for dear life.
Duke 50, North Carolina 19 (halftime): On the road against a ranked North Carolina team, Duke was purely dominant in the first half, taking a 31-point advantage into the locker room. Despite 11 turnovers in the first half, the Blue Devils were so disruptive on the defensive end that the Tar Heels were on their heels throughout the half. Duke's scoring effort was a balanced one, with seven players scoring at least five points in the first half.
Chloe Wells has put on a clinic with her long-range shooting, knocking down 4-of-5 shots from beyond-the-arc in the first half en route to a team-high 12 points. Strong rebounding on the inside by Elizabeth Williams and Haley Peters, who lead the team with five boards apiece, has given the Blue Devils a 25-17 advantage on the glass in the first half.
Despite Duke's 31-point halftime lead, the second half will likely be a physical one. Duke did not waver after play got chippy in the first half, when Chelsea Gray and North Carolina's Xylina McDaniel were issued technical fouls after some pushing and shoving.
Here are some notable halftime stats:
- Duke shot 55.9 percent from the floor, compared to North Carolina's 21.9 percent.
- The Blue Devils were 7-of-9 from 3-point range.
- Duke has forced 13 North Carolina turnovers.
- Just three players have scored for the Tar Heels. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and Waltiea Rolle lead the team with seven points and Megan Buckland has added five off the bench.
- Waltiea Rolle and Xylina McDaniel—the Tar Heels' two primary post players—each have three fouls.
Duke 34, North Carolina 7 (7:45 first half): The pace of play slowed considerably and emotions flared in the last few minutes in Chapel Hill. Duke's Chelsea Gray and North Carolina's Xylina McDaniel were each issued technical fouls after some extra-curricular activities ensued following a loose-ball tie-up. Once both teams settled down their emotions, it was the Blue Devils who ultimately prevailed. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Tricia Liston and Chloe Wells sent the Duke bench into a frenzy and extended the team's run to 27-3. The Blue Devils are 6-for-8 from beyond-the-arc thus far, shooting 59.1 percent from the floor. North Carolina has managed just three field goals and is shooting a 15.8-percent clip.
Duke 24, North Carolina 6 (11:50 first half): The Blue Devils are continuing to let it fly at Carmicahael Arena, and they can't seem to miss. Jones paced Duke in transition, making a nifty move in the lane to drop in a runner, and Gray knocked down a long 3-pointer on the team's next trip down the floor to extend its lead. Gray then dished to Haley Peters, who knocked down another outside jumper with her toe on the line to extend Duke's early lead to 18 points.
Duke 17, North Carolina 4 (14:07 first half): The Tar Heels have looked out of sorts and it has been all Duke thus far. The Blue Devils have controlled the pace on both ends of the floor and the Tar Heels have yet to find their rhythm in the early stages of the game.
Duke has held a solid advantage on the glass, scooping up loose balls to create second-chance opportunities and keep possessions alive. Chloe Wells hit a long 3-pointer to give the Blue Devils an early 5-2 lead and Chelsea Gray followed with an explosive drive to the hole and a slick behind-the-back dish to Elizaeth Williams for the lay-in. Williams has controlled the paint thus far, dominating Tar Heel center Waltiea Rolle.
Duke's Alexis Jones added a long 3-pointer of her own and then found Chloe Wells with a no-look dish on the Blue Devils' next trip down the floor for another triple, capping a 15-2 run for Duke.
Welcome folks to your live updates for Duke women's basketball vs. North Carolina today at Carmichael Arena. Make sure to follow along here all night for analysis and follow @chroniclesports on Twitter for the most up-to-date game news.
Pregame: Two of the ACC's best square off in Chapel Hill today as another chapter of the Tobacco Road rivalry is written between No. 5 Duke and No. 11 North Carolina. The Blue Devils (19-1, 9-0 in the ACC) currently sit by themselves in first place in the ACC standings, but the Tar Heels (20-2, 8-1) should pose a challenge playing on their home floor. As if this rivalry didn't place enough at stake in this afternoon's game, North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell has a chance to earn the 900th victory of her coaching career should the Tar Heels triumph today.
This is the first meeting between the two teams this season. The Blue Devils embarrassed the Tar Heels at Cameron Indoor Stadium last February—the game's 96-56 margin was the second-largest by Duke in its 83 meetings with North Carolina. The teams met again three weeks later and played a physical battle, with Duke ultimately prevailing by a 69-63 final.
Duke starters: G Chelsea Gray, G Chloe Wells, G Alexia Jones, F Haley Peters, C Elizabeth Williams
North Carolina starters: G Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, G Brittany Rountree, F Krista Gross, F Xylina McDaniel, C Waltiea Rolle