When the North Carolina women’s basketball team visited Cameron Indoor Stadium almost a year ago, then Duke junior center Elizabeth Williams scored a career-high 28 points on the Tar Heels.
This year, the No. 15 Blue Devils traveled to Chapel Hill first and now a senior, Williams once again bested her career high with 33 points – the most any Duke player had ever scored against the Tar Heels.
UNC’s inability to stop Williams below the basket helped Duke to a 46-18 advantage in points in the paint – enough to topple the No. 12 Tar Heels 74-67 in overtime Sunday.
Before the game, UNC Coach Sylvia Hatchell joked with Williams.
“I told her, ‘Elizabeth, what do you want for graduation?’” Hatchell said. “She looked at me and said, ‘I’m not really sure.’ I said, ‘Honey, I’m going to buy you a graduation present.”
“We have a great relationship. She’s a great kid … She always plays really well against us, and she did that tonight.”
Williams is just one of seven players on Duke’s roster that stands 6-foot-3 or taller. Sophomore forward Stephanie Mavunga is the only Tar Heel who can claim to be that tall.
“They have a huge lineup,” Mavunga said. “We haven’t really gotten a look like that this year at all. That’s kind of difficult to deal with.
“But at the same time, the bigger they are, the slower they are — that’s what Coach Hatchell says. We should have used our speed to our advantage and I don’t think we did that a lot.”