Lady Tar Heels beat No. 15 Blue Devils in overtime
After a disappointing home loss on Thursday evening to in-state rival North Carolina State, the North Carolina women’s basketball team came out and played one of its best overall games of the season on Sunday afternoon.
In doing so, the Lady Tar Heels knocked off the 15th-ranked Duke Blue Devils in front of nearly 7,000 fans at a raucous Carmichael Arena. It was quite a spectacle for the home crowd, watching the Tar Heels beat the Blue Devils in overtime after trailing by as many as 19 points in the second quarter.
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After Duke took a 37-18 lead, the Tar Heels went on a three-point shooting barrage, closing the Blue Devils’ lead to just eight points at the half. North Carolina opened up the second half with seven consecutive points, pulling to within one point of the Blue Devils at 41-40.
North Carolina went on a 39-19 run that culminated in the Tar Heels’ first lead of the game three minutes into the fourth quarter. Duke promptly took back control of the game, scoring nine straight points and taking a commanding 66-57 lead.
Thanks to a terrific performance by North Carolina’s Paris Kea, who scored a career-high 36 points on 15-of-23 shooting and 5-for-9 from three-point range, and a season-high 26 turnovers by the Blue Devils, the Tar Heels were able to force overtime and win the game by a final score of 92-86.
North Carolina’s Jamie Cherry and Leah Church added 22 and 19 points, respectively, for the Tar Heels, who hit 13 three-pointers in the game and 13-of-14 free throws. The Tar Heels now sit at 14-6 overall and 4-3 in the ACC.
Haley Gorecki scored a career-high 29 points for the Blue Devils, and ACC-leading scorer Lexie Brown recorded 19 points and 10 rebounds in a team-high 44 minutes. The Blue Devils drop to 15-5 on the season, including a 4-3 mark in the ACC.
Prior to the start of the game, the UNC athletic department held a ceremony for North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell in honor of her 1,000th career victory that came against Grambling State on December 19th.
Hatchell was presented with a North Carolina jersey with the No. 1,000 across both the front and back. She was also awarded a custom shoe box from Nike with a pair of Jordan Brand basketball shoes signed by Michael Jordan. Her players also gave her a commemorative basketball representing the historic victory last month.