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UNC takes down Duke at its own game, 82-78

Joe Giglio, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) on

Published in Basketball

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Turns out North Carolina is better at playing Duke's game than Duke is theirs.

With a free-flowing guard-based attack and a steady diet of 3-pointers, No. 21 UNC took the first meeting of the season between the Triangle rivals.

Senior Joel Berry scored 21 points to lead the Tar Heels to an 82-78 win over No. 9 Duke on Thursday night at the Smith Center.

The season has been marked by a switch in traditional styles between the rivals.

UNC (18-7, 7-5 ACC) has become the guard-based team while Duke has relied on its talented big men.

Duke (19-5, 7-4) had its way inside in the first half but UNC used a blitz at the start of the second half to pick up its biggest win of the season.

 

Junior guard Kenny Williams (20 points) made six 3-pointers and UNC finished with 11 3s. It was the first time since 2004, a span of 28 games, that the Heels outscored Duke from the 3-point line.

UNC used a 16-2 run to start the second half to take control of the game.

Down 49-45 at the half, the Tar Heels blasted out of the halftime gate to take a 61-51 lead after a layup by Williams at 15:49. Williams and Berry both made 3s during the run but other five baskets came in the teeth of the Duke defense.

UNC was up 72-62 with 9:28 left before Duke made it interesting and had the ball down 74-71 with 3:30 left but Gary Trent (16 points) missed an open corner 3.

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