DURHAM — The North Carolina women’s basketball team came up short once again at Duke’s senior day on Sunday afternoon, losing 70-54. The loss marks UNC’s ninth consecutive defeat; the Tar Heels’ last win was over Duke in Chapel Hill in January.
The Tar Heels (14-15, 4-12 ACC) hit 13 threes in their January meeting with Duke, and UNC’s offense picked up where it left off in Sunday’s first quarter. Four different Tar Heels made threes in the quarter as the team shot a combined 4-for-8.
Janelle Bailey added six points and avoided foul trouble, which could have been costly against Duke’s taller lineup.
Despite UNC’s strong outside shooting, Duke still led 20-18 after the first quarter.
After an up-and-down first quarter, both defenses dominated in the second. Duke failed to hit a field goal until halfway through the quarter, allowing UNC to open up a 26-22 lead – the largest it would hold.
Duke’s offense finally found its footing in the final minutes of the half and Jade Williams’ layup with 30 seconds left in the second quarter gave the Blue Devils a 31-29 halftime lead they would not relinquish.
As has plagued them all season, one quarter doomed the Tar Heels once again. The Blue Devils started the second half on a 15-0 run — not allowing UNC to score for the first 6:30. Bailey finally stopped the run over six minutes into the half with a put-back, but the damage was done.
Duke’s length and experience proved stifling for UNC’s youthful offense, holding the Tar Heels to only seven points in the entire quarter. By the end of the third quarter, Duke led 56-36 thanks to 4-5 shooting from deep and six turnovers from the Tar Heels.