From Staff Reports
Chapel Hill/Durham, N.C. – In succession, both the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils suffered losses on Saturday.
Anyone wearing either version of the two teams’ blue colors had a down day as the 10th-ranked Tar Heels fell 95-91 in overtime to the N.C. State Wolfpack in Chapel Hill, while a few hours later in the Bull City, the Blue Devils came up short in a 65-63 loss to the No. 2 Virginia Cavaliers.
UNC ACC win streak at home ends
While UNC’s Luke Maye led all scorers with 31 points along with 11 rebounds, N.C. State’s Allerik Freeman put up a career-high 29 points, including a spotless 7-of-7 finish from the perimeter that tied an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) record for the most consecutive 3s made in a single game.
The loss to the Wolfpack brought an abrupt end to a 15-game win streak over ACC opponents at the Dean Smith Center, and resulted in only the fifth loss in 140 games under head coach Roy Williams that the Tar Heels lost despite posting at least 90 points on the board.
The Tar Heels held a 41-38 halftime lead, and both teams traded possession of the advantage until the end of regulation.
As play entered the final minute, Markell Johnson’s consecutive buckets eventually put the Wolfpack ahead 83-81, before UNC’s Cameron Johnson eventually pushed the game to overtime with two made free throws.
During the final five minutes, N.C. State managed to put up the points needed and made the defensive stops necessary to post its third win over a top-10 ranked opponent this season.
Duke unable to overcome Cavaliers’ momentum
Double-doubles from Marvin Bagley III (30 points, 14 rebounds) and Wendell Carter Jr. (14 points, 15 rebounds) led Duke’s effort, but four double-digit finishes, topped by Kyle Guy’s 17 points, were enough to earn the win for Virginia.
In particular, Guy’s final two points, free throws, created the thin cushion the Cavaliers needed to win.
Trailing the Cavaliers 32-22 at halftime, the Blue Devils had work to do.
Their effort paid off during the first six minutes of the second half as both teams were even at 39 points apiece.
It was the first of four deadlocks that Duke and Virginia applied against one another, as the lead changed back-and-forth.
Leading by just a three-point margin, 51-48, at 8:09, the Blue Devils were unable to hold off Virginia’s tenacious effort to pull even and eventually ahead.
A 12-4 run put the Cavaliers up 60-55 five minutes later, topped of by a 3-pointer from Guy.
With ample time to pull back even, missed shots and turnovers used up valuable time and allowed Virginia to match each Duke scoring effort down the stretch.
Bagley’s 3-pointer with eight seconds remaining made it a two-point advantage in the Cavaliers’ favor, but Guy’s successful free throws were enough to end Duke’s comeback attempt.
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