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Blue Devils Convert Turnovers Into Points

And the Blue Devils followed through on their plan. They hoisted a school-record-tying 38 shots from behind the arc, making seven in each half for a final accuracy of 36.8 percent.

"They didn't have to worry about throwing it inside," UNC forward Jason Capel said. "They really stuck to their game plan, which is to shoot 3s. It's tough to defend when they're shooting the ball 25 feet from the basket."

Duke's effectiveness from 3-point range was hardly surprising, considering that the team has shot 40.3 percent from long range for the season.

But the Blue Devils got an extra lift from their 2-point shooting game. They average a 55.4-percent success rate on

2-point field goals for the season but made 61.8 percent (21-for-34) of those shots against UNC.

The reason for the increase was that many of Duke's attempts were uncontested layups in transition. The Tar Heels committed 15 turnovers against Duke's pressure, 11 of which were Blue Devil steals.

Duke took advantage of UNC not being able to set up its defense, scoring 21 points on 9-for-11 shooting off the 15 turnovers. One of the baskets was a

3-pointer, and two more points came via the foul line.

Sophomore guard Jason Williams was the primary beneficiary of UNC's mistakes, scoring 13 of his game-high 33 points off turnovers. He was 6-for-8, including four layups and a breakaway dunk, in those situations.

"If you look at the second half, you'll see that a number of times we scored with a numerical advantage," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "That's from pushing the ball up the court and not being tentative."

Jason Williams, aka Tar Heel Killer

Williams' outburst was his second in as many games against UNC this year.

He torched the Tar Heels for 32 points in UNC's 85-83 win at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Feb. 1. He was

11-for-23 from the floor in that contest, shooting 6-for-12 from 3-point range.

He is now 24-for-50 (13-for-25 on

3-pointers) for 65 points against the Tar Heels this season. It's a big change from last year, when he scored 22 points on

7-for-27 shooting (1-for-13 on 3s) in two matchups against UNC.

As Forte Goes ...

Want to beat North Carolina? The best way to do it is to limit the effectiveness of guard Joseph Forte.

That's obviously easier said than done, but any team that catches Forte on an off night has a chance to knock off the Tar Heels.

Such was the case Sunday, when Forte scored 21 points on 7-for-21 shooting. He was 2-for-11 in the second half.

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"I think they were intentionally like, 'He's not going to sit here and have a field day,' which is to be expected," Forte said. "I wouldn't expect anybody to let me score."

Teams that have beaten UNC have made things tough for Forte, the ACC's leading scorer at 22.0 points per game.

In UNC's five losses, Forte has averaged 19.0 points per game on 35.2-percent (37-for-105) shooting from the field. He has shot 33.3 percent (10-for-30) from the 3-point arc and 78.6 percent (11-for-14) from the foul line.

In the team's 23 wins, he has put up 22.6 points per game on 50.3-percent (186-for-370) shooting. His 3-point accuracy (40-for-94, 42.6 percent) and free-throw shooting (108-for-127, 85.0 percent) are also much better than in losses.

Battier Just Wins, Baby

Duke senior forward Shane Battier added two more records Sunday to his already-impressive resume.

He took part in the 122nd victory of his career, tying former Duke star Christian Laettner for the ACC record. The win also marked Battier's 66th ACC victory, tying him with former teammate Chris Carrawell for the highest total in conference history.

He stuffed the stat sheet with 25 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and four steals, but his intelligence allowed Krzyzewski to implement a trapping defense to keep UNC out of rhythm.

"Battier was ... Battier," said Krzyzewski, who has run out of ways to describe him. "He got a double-double, but on defense a number of things we were doing were based on his abilities. Otherwise, we couldn't do those things."


The Blue Devils set a new ACC mark with their 124th win in the past four years. They will break the NCAA four-year record of 132 held by Kentucky if they win the ACC and NCAA tournaments.

Capel is gaining on center Brendan Haywood for the UNC lead in rebounds. He grabbed 11 boards against Duke to go with 11 points, giving him his fourth double-double in the past eight games. Capel has 203 rebounds (7.3 per game) this season, and Haywood has 204.

Krzyzewski improved his career record against UNC to 21-27. He has won six of the last seven meetings.

The Sports Editor can be reached at