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No. 14 UNC women beat No. 7 Duke 64-60

Source : AP
Last Updated: Sun, Mar 02, 2014 20:30 hrs

Diamond DeShields scored 18 points while fellow freshman Allisha Gray scored all 12 of her points after halftime to help No. 14 North Carolina beat No. 7 Duke 64-60 on Sunday in the teams' regular-season finale.

Freshman Stephanie Mavunga had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Tar Heels (22-8, 10-6 Atlantic Coast Conference), who clinched their first season sweep of the Blue Devils since the 2007-08 season.

North Carolina ran off a 20-0 run spanning halftime to lead by 19 points, then watched Duke (25-5, 12-4) respond with a 16-0 burst and fight back to within a point before holding on down the stretch.

Mavunga came up big, scoring on a stickback after Duke got within 53-52 on Ka'lia Johnson's three-point play. She then kicked out to Gray for a 3-pointer then scored inside off a feed from DeShields that pushed the lead back to 60-52 with 2:02 left.

Tricia Liston scored 19 points despite battling back problems for the Blue Devils, though only four of those came after halftime. Johnson and Elizabeth Williams each scored 12 points for injury-depleted Duke, which had lost top point guards Chelsea Gray and Alexis Jones to season-ending knee injuries since January.

The Tar Heels won the first meeting on Feb. 10, with DeShields scoring 30 in UNC's first win in Duke's famously hostile Cameron Indoor Stadium since 2008.

But the Tar Heels had lost two straight games coming into this one, losing at home on a cold-shooting day to a Virginia Tech team with two league wins followed by Thursday's 25-point loss at No. 2 Notre Dame.

DeShields didn't shoot particularly well, going just 7 for 22 from the field this time around.

But Gray, who was limited to eight first-half minutes when she picked up two fouls, hit four 3-pointers after halftime. Two of those sparked UNC's big run, with the Tar Heels scoring the first 14 points after halftime to take a 50-31 lead on DeShields' free throw with 16:11 left.

Yet the Blue Devils, who had been scoreless for 7½ minutes during UNC's run, answered with an equally impressive burst of their own. That 16-0 spurt against the suddenly turnover-prone Tar Heels — who at one point had turnovers on four straight possessions and went scoreless for 10 minutes — helped them climb back in the game.

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap




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