RALEIGH, N.C. – All three Triangle-area teams have traveled South for the Thanksgiving break as the Duke Blue Devils are in St. Thomas, the UNC Tar Heels are in Mexico, and the NC State Wolfpack is stateside in Florida.
Both the second-ranked Blue Devils and Wolfpack are undefeated while the 11th-ranked Tar Heels have lost only once, providing for an impressive beginning to the non-conference part of the season for local fans to follow.
On Thanksgiving Day, both the Blue Devils and Tar Heels came up with victories in their respective tournament-openers, while the Wolfpack begins play on Friday in theirs.
Games for all three teams are accessible via live stats and/or video feeds:
Duke drops Xavier 81-54 in Paradise Jam opener
ST. THOMAS, U.S.VIRGIN ISLANDS – The Blue Devils (6-0) won their opening game in the 2013 Paradise Jam with an 81-54 victory over the Xavier Musketeers at the University of Virgin Islands Sport & Fitness Center on Thursday.
Tricia Liston scored a team-high 22 points and led Duke’s offense for its third consecutive game while Elizabeth Williams added 18 points and eight rebounds for the Blue Devils.
Duke shot a season-high 60 percent from the field and matched a season high with 10 blocks while guards Alexis Jones (15 points) and Chelsea Gray (8 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists) supported the Blue Devils all-around effort throughout the game.
The win over the Musketeers extends the Blue Devils’ win streak to six games which they will look to extend in their second game of the tournament against the Central Michigan Chippewas on Friday.
Tar Heels dominate Arkansas State 93-60 in Cancun
RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO – The Tar Heels (5-1) opened with a 93-60 victory over the Arkansas State Red Wolves in the Cancun Challenge being played at the Hard Rock Resort on Thursday.
Diamond DeShields scored a game-high 24 points while Xylina McDaniel (16 points), Allisha Gray (12 points), Danielle Butts (11 points), and Jessica Washington (10 points) supported the Tar Heels’ 60-percent shooting performance from the field.
Current ACC Rookie of the Week Stephanie Mavunga contributed 10 rebounds, three blocks, and seven points to the winning effort.
Wolfpack opens play in Gulf Coast Showcase on Friday
ESTERO, FLA. – The Wolfpack (6-0) will play away from home for the first time this season when they tip off against the Wright State Raiders in their opening game in the inaugural Gulf Coast Showcase at Germain Arena on Friday.
The game will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs and will feature two high-scoring squads going head-to-head as Wright State currently averages 84 points per game while NC State has scored an average of 79 points per game.
Each team possesses two players – Kody Burke (14 ppg) and Markeisha Gatling (12 ppg) for NC State, and Kim Dennings (22 ppg)and Ivory James (22 ppg) for Wright State – who are currently averaging double-digit scoring averages coming into tournament play.