The Fire Continues to Burn Between Duke and UNC After a Close One

As the 80th game Duke University and the University of North Carolina face each other off in, No. 21 North Carolina rose up from the ashes 12 points down in the first half to beat No. 9 Duke University 82-78 in the renewal of the fierce rivalry.

Kenny Williams made six 3-pointers, mirroring his career high with 20 points for the Tar Heels to help take the lead at halftime with a 16-2 run that demolished what was left of the Blue Devils’ early lead. Cameron Johnson added 18 points and 13 rebounds while Joel Berry II scored 21 points to push the win further along.

 North Carolina led by as much as 10 and witnessed Duke get to within 74-71 which was too late to do any damage. But the Tar Heels did just enough to hang on and secure another one. Theo Pinson capitalized on the win with a dunk with 11.1 seconds left to seal the deal.

Gary Trent Jr. scored 16 points to lead the Blue Devils who have lost two straight, but that won’t stop them from competing even harder to push aside their losing streak.

The Blue Devils came off a tough loss to St. John’s team which was 0-11 at the time. It looked like maybe Duke was ready to bounce back in the first half, but that was proven different when the Blue Devils couldn’t match UNC’s small and meaningful edge.

UNC Tar Heels hadn’t played noticeably well coming in, and they knew they had to step it up against Duke. After suffering their first three-game losing streak in four years, they pushed through and shut the Blue Devils down for another win. This was some of the best basketball the Tar Heels have played in a few weeks.

This week, the Blue Devils will visit Georgia Tech on Sunday, and UNC will get another rivalry game against North Carolina State on Saturday in Raleigh, N.C, part of a 3 games in 5 days stretch and a half.

By Cierra Loomis