There were only three free throw attempts the entire game for North Carolina and zero attempts in the second half, eight blocks by Dereck Lively (the third most blocks in a single game from a Duke player since Mike Gminski), no field goal over the last 3:57 of the contest were also major factors in UNC’s 65-57 loss to Duke.
Why Did Duke Win?
- The Blue Devils, who rank second defensively in the ACC in allowed points per game, held a Tar Heel team that averages 78.6 points per contest to just 57 points, including only 25 in the second half.
- Derek Lively lived up to the hype, being the anchor on the interior who was a cause for concern entering the meeting. His three blocks within the first four minutes of the game set the tone that any points in the paint would be earned.
- 20-2 fast break points in favor of Duke was the difference in setting pace for the Blue Devils.
- North Carolina in the half court set often forced Duke to take shots on the backend of the shot clock. In addition, when the offense became stagnant the Heels forced someone outside of Jeremy Roach to produce offensively on a night where both teams shot less than 39% from the field. Roach led all Duke players with 20 points on 8 of 20 shooting.
Why Did UNC Lose?
- Caleb Love and R.J. Davis combined for 10 of 31 from the field, which was the difference. Leaky Black, who was 3-6 from downtown, was the most efficient Tar Heel from behind the arc. Pete Nance was just 1-10 from the field. Frankly, shots were not falling for the shooters of North Carolina, with many being wide open attempts.
- In our preview we talked about North Carolina living too much from the perimeter and the shooting woes continued. The Tar Heels shot 25.9 % for the game from deep (7-27). In contrast Duke, who was 4 of 11 from the perimeter, found an inside-outside balance.
- Duke out-scored North Carolina in the paint, 24-32. Armando Bacot, who is averaging a double double on the year with 17.5 points and 11.3 rebounds per game, was contained mainly by a single man in Derek Lively. Against Carolina teams often doubled the post, which frees up the wings to knock down open 3’s. The Blue Devils did the opposite Saturday night with freshman Derek Lively to playing Bacot in the paint by himself for vast majority of the game.
In a brutal stretch for the Blue Devils, Duke heads to Miami Monday night to play the 23rd-ranked Hurricanes before heading to Virginia next Saturday.
The Heels’ next three games include traveling to Winston Salem for a battle with Wake Forest and then hosting Clemson and Miami on Saturday and Monday.
We will continue to learn more about both blue bloods before the ACC tournament which starts Tuesday, March 7th.