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Duke rolls past North Carolina

The No. 1 Blue Devils pull away late for a 64-53 victory over the No. 2 Tar Heels.

February 09, 2007|From the Associated Press

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Abby Waner scored six of her 16 points during the decisive second-half spurt Thursday night, and No. 1 Duke held off No. 2 North Carolina, 64-53.

Wanisha Smith had all 17 of her points in the first half, Lindsey Harding added 16 points and Alison Bales had 14 rebounds for the Blue Devils, 25-0 overall, 10-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Duke overcame second-half foul trouble and held off the Tar Heels at every juncture, improving to 8-0 against ranked teams and ending a five-game losing streak to North Carolina -- including a surprisingly lopsided loss last year at Chapel Hill in the first 1-2 matchup in the rivalry.

"It makes us feel a little bit better about the losses we had in the past, but not much," Duke Coach Gail Goestenkors said.

Camille Little scored a season-high 21 points and Erlana Larkins had 14 rebounds for the Tar Heels (24-1, 8-1), but point guard Ivory Latta finished with only nine points on three-of-20 shooting and missed all 11 of her three-point attempts.

"It's pretty simple -- we've just got to shoot the ball better," North Carolina Coach Sylvia Hatchell said.

"I don't know we've ever had a game ... where the rest of the team shot as poorly as we did."

North Carolina twice rallied to tie the score in the second half, the last coming when Alex Miller's basket with 7:50 left made it 47-47.

Duke countered with a 14-3 spurt led by Waner and Bales. Bales started the run with a layup and later added a basket from 18 feet.

Waner then scored three baskets in a row. Her last field goal deflated the sellout crowd at Carmichael Auditorium.

Waner drove toward the corner, then pulled up and made a basket to increase the lead to 57-50 with 2:40 to play.

"I thought that was the dagger," Goestenkors said.

Duke's lead grew to 61-50 on a late free throw by Bales.

Duke avenged its previous visit to Chapel Hill -- a 77-65 loss to the Tar Heels. The Blue Devils had won 12 in a row in the series before their five-game slide.

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