Freshman Alexis Jones led all scorers with a season-high 22 points including 11-for-12 from the free-throw line, leading the No. 5 Blue Devils to a hard-fought 65-58 win over No. 15 UNC on Sunday at sold-out Cameron Indoor Stadium.
For Duke, which beat the Tar Heels 84-63 in Chapel Hill 84-63 on Feb. 3, Sunday’s game was a chance to wash away the taste of its 69-65 loss at Miami Thursday night.
The next game for ACC regular-season champion Duke (27-2, 17-1 ACC) will be Friday at 2 p.m. against either No. 8 seed N.C. State or No. 9 seed Clemson in the second round of the ACC Tournament in Greensboro. UNC (26-5, 14-4), which lost a coin flip to Maryland and has the No. 3 seed, will play No. 6 seed Virginia or No. 11 seed Boston College in the second round on Friday at 8.
Elizabeth Williams led the Blue Devils with 13 points, followed by Haley Peters with 10. Duke’s senior center Allison Vernerey got the start and scored four points with six rebounds and two blocks in 16 minutes on Senior Day.
Tierra Ruffin-Pratt led UNC with 16 points, while Krista Gross added 10 with a game-high 12 rebounds for the senior’s third double-double of the year and 10th of her career.
Each team forced the other into plenty of mistakes. Duke shot 37.7 percent from the floor to the Tar Heels’ 29.7. UNC won the rebound battle 48-47 and committed 22 turnovers to Duke’s 29. But the Blue Devils were 23-for-30 from the free-throw line to the Tar Heels’ icy 9-for-21.