7:00 PM ET, February 4, 2008
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Duke kept leaving North Carolina's scorers open, and the up-tempo Tar Heels kept taking advantage. It added up to a record-breaking night on their biggest rival's home floor.The No. 3 Tar Heels had their highest-scoring performance at Cameron Indoor Stadium, routing the 11th-ranked Blue Devils 93-76 on Monday night behind 18 points and 11 rebounds from LaToya Pringle.Freshman Cetera DeGraffenreid also finished with 18 points and Rashanda McCants added 15 for the Tar Heels (20-2, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), whose previous best at Cameron was an 87-point game in 1997.The nation's most potent offense shot 51.6 percent against the league's best defense, owned a 43-34 rebounding advantage, routinely generated open looks and consistently knocked them down."I've been open for four years," Pringle said. "I'm actually not surprised. [Star forward Erlana Larkins] draws so much attention. I'm kind of just like an up-and-coming player, so people are going to leave me open to shoot that outside shot. This year, I've just been making it."If they're going to keep leaving me open," she added, "I'm going to keep taking it."North Carolina snapped a pesky two-game losing streak in the bitter rivalry, finished with its most points against Duke since a 95-70 victory in 1995 in Chapel Hill, and claimed their most lopsided winning margin at Cameron since an 84-63 win two years earlier.The victory came with a humorous cost. After the game, Tar Heels coach Sylvia Hatchell stopped in Chapel Hill to "roll" a tree with celebratory toilet paper, police stopped her and issued her a warning ticket for littering."This group of players, we haven't lost to Duke that many times," Pringle said. "We took it personal. When we came in here, just rebound, play hard."Wanisha Smith scored 17 points and Chante Black had 15 for Duke (16-6, 5-2), which allowed a season-high point total in dropping two of three at home in an eight-day span. A week earlier, Tennessee snapped the Blue Devils' 24-game winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium with a final-seconds victory.This one wasn't nearly that close. And while the stakes weren't quite as high as they've been in previous years -- both teams were ranked in the top five during the previous five meetings, including a pair of No. 1-vs.-No. 2 matchups -- the Tar Heels gave first-year Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie a rather rude introduction to the always-intense series."Pretty much what you ask for in a Duke-Carolina game," McCallie said. "Very physical, very up-and-down, lots of different things going on on the floor. I think we, perhaps, didn't do as well, tempo-wise."North Carolina only briefly trailed in winning for the 11th time in 12 games, taking control of this one for good with a 20-8 run that bridged halftime and pushed its lead into double figures to stay.Carrem Gay pulled Duke within 37-35 with a jumper with about 4 minutes left in the half, but that was as close as the Blue Devils would get -- largely thanks to the composure of North Carolina's freshman point guard.DeGraffenreid was fouled by Keturah Jackson while shooting a 3-pointer about 30 seconds later, and she knocked down all three free throws to start the decisive run."This young lady right here," Hatchell said, pointing toward DeGraffenreid, "for a freshman, she did an outstanding job ... just running our team."By the time Pringle knocked down two free throws to make it 57-43 with 17 minutes remaining, Hatchell was well on her way to her 499th victory at North Carolina. Her first chance at the milestone victory will come Thursday night at Boston College.Larkins and Jessica Breland both scored 13 points for the Tar Heels. Larkins, playing with a wrapped left wrist, reached double figures for just the second time in five games.Abby Waner scored 13 points and Gay added 10 for Duke, which was ranked outside the top five entering the North Carolina game for the first time since March 2000. The Blue Devils were just 2-of-17 from 3-point range and didn't make one until Smith connected with about 13 minutes left and Duke trailing 65-51."If you had told me that before the game, I would say, 'No way," Hatchell said.The Tar Heels simply lit up the league's best defense in the first half, making nearly 49 percent of their shots against a Duke defense that entered allowing teams to shoot just 34.5 percent. North Carolina had 48 points at halftime -- less than eight shy of what the Blue Devils usually allow in a full game."Obviously some lessons here for us to learn, for sure," McCallie said.
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||32-63 (.508)||28-75 (.373)|
|3P Made-Attempted||7-11 (.636)||2-19 (.105)|
|FT Made-Attempted||22-28 (.786)||18-26 (.692)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||21 (0/0)||23 (0/0)|