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The Daily Tar Heel

W. Basketball: Heels to face Duke without past stars

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North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell has faced Duke 53 times in her career racking up 28 victories.

Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie who came to the Blue Devils before the 2007-08 season hasn't had exactly parallel success against the Tar Heels.

McCallie is winless and lost by an average of more than 20 points per game in her only three matchups against UNC all last year.

But this year Duke (19-2" 7-1 ACC) is ranked No. 4 in the country and has every reason to be confident.

""The women's rivalry is a lot like the men's because of how good the teams are and how competitive they are"" Hatchell said. It's going to be a lot of fun.""

And the Tar Heels who will take the court tonight aren't quite the team of 2007-08" a squad that finished No. 2 in the Associated Press poll.

UNC has had more than half a season to adjust to life without All-ACC forwards Erlana Larkins and LaToya Pringle and the current post has put in a mammoth effort.

But today is the first time in four years that UNC has faced Duke without Larkins and Pringle playing pivotal roles.

In those four years the Tar Heels produced an 8-2 record. Prior to that the Blue Devils won 12 in a row.

If UNC hopes to continue its recent success senior Iman McFarland junior Jessica Breland and freshman Chay Shegog will have to do their collective best to contain Duke's 6-foot-5-inch Chante Black the Blue Devils' leading scorer.

Black also leads the team in rebounding — an area of considerable concern for Hatchell's squad this season — with 8.8 per game" higher than any Tar Heels' average.

""I think they all realize they need to step their game up" Hatchell said. They've all been working on different parts of their game: Rashanda (McCants) Jessica Cetera (DeGraffenreid)" all of them have been working.""

If UNC can break even on the boards" then control of the tempo could determine the winner. Duke plays a slower game and averages 12 fewer points per game in a more deliberate style of basketball.

In the backcourt DeGraffenreid will do her best to force the Tar Heels' fast tempo on the Blue Devils to create layups while Hatchell's full-court and trap defenses will try to cause turnovers.

Though tonight's game is in the Smith Center Hatchell already is relishing taking a trip to Duke's home" as well.

""Any time you can go and win" in Cameron … that's big Hatchell said. That's special to win over there and it would be for any team" men's or women's.""

Senior writer David Reynolds contributed reporting.

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