Chapel Hill, NC — What better way to end the season than with the UNC, Duke rivalry? North Carolina leads the all-time series 49-45, but the teams came into the day at 11 wins apiece when the two meet in the regular season finale. It’s always tough to predict what will happen when these two teams step on the court.
Duke started quick and never looked back behind the always reliable Rebecca Greenwell. She ended the first half with 15 points, leading the Blue Devils to a 45-32 lead at the half.
This proved to be too much for the Tar Heels to overcome in the second half. Greenwell went off for another 15 points totaling 30 for the game, followed by teammate Lexie Brown with 19 points. Paris Kea finished with 19 as well for North Carolina.
Stats-wise, the Blue Devils, dominated. They made 23 shots in the paint versus the Tar Heels’ 11. Rebounds were another area where North Carolina was overpowered. Duke finished with 42, 27 of which were defensive that they turned into 16 points.
When it came to their assists, Duke’s Head Coach Joanne McCallie was almost speechless, saying, “30 assists is unbelievable. I have not seen that statistic in 25 years of being a head coach.”
The Blue Devils ultimately win in blow-out fashion with a final score of 95-71.
North Carolina Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell was not defeated, but rather quite proud of her team’s performance. With zero seniors, one junior and one sophomore on the court, the Tar Heels are considered the youngest team in the nation. Hatchell was quick to point out that they scored 71 against a team whose opponents are averaging only 53.
With their win and Florida State’s loss, Duke is now tied for second in the conference. Both teams shift their focus to the ACC Tournament in Conway, South Carolina that begins on Wednesday, March 1. The fact that it’s essentially the start of a new season was something that each emphasized postgame.
“We’re all equal,” said Tar Heel freshman Taylor Koenen. “We can put the season behind us and go out there and give it everything we’ve got and start fresh. We are good, so hopefully, we can prove that.”
McCallie said, “I think you can carry the momentum in some ways, but you’re starting at 0-0 again. It’s understanding all of the good that we did and being responsible for the things that we didn’t do well, then carrying that into a situation where we’re starting all over. I think we can do that.”