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Duke 73, North Carolina 68

The SportsXchange

DURHAM, N.C. -- Second-ranked Duke overcame some rough offensive stretches and foul trouble to turn away rival North Carolina 73-68 in Wednesday night's Atlantic Coast Conference game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Blue Devils finally found their shooting touch, hitting 6 of 11 3-point attempts in the second half.

Duke led 59-51 on Seth Curry's 3-pointer with less than five minutes to play and held on. The Blue Devils made 8 of 8 foul shots in the last minute.

Mason Plumlee and Quinn Cook scored 18 points apiece for Duke (22-2, 9-2), which is 13-0 at home this season. Rasheed Sulaimon chipped in 13 points and Curry had 11.

Sophomore P.J. Hairston, making a rare start, scored 23 points for North Carolina (16-8, 6-5), which has lost back-to-back games for the second time this season. Reggie Bullock scored 15 and Dexter Strickland had 14.

With Plumlee saddled with his third foul less than a minute into the second half, James Michael McAdoo of North Carolina went to work in the lane and the Tar Heels established a 38-31 lead.

But Bullock ended up with his third foul with about 17 minutes to play, and Duke closed within 38-37.

Duke had its first lead at 42-41 on Curry's 3-pointer with 14:05 to play. The Blue Devils built the margin to 52-47, aided by a stretch of 7-for-10 shooting from the field.

North Carolina went almost five minutes without scoring, but Duke squandered several possessions by missing five shots in a row and committing a couple of turnovers. Bullock answered with a 3-pointer for the Tar Heels, trimming the deficit to 54-50 shortly after Plumlee picked up his fourth foul.

North Carolina's attempt at completing a comeback was snuffed by six consecutive missed free throws.

The foul troubles began early, with both teams impacted. By the 5:57 mark of the first half, McAdoo and Plumlee each had two fouls. Cook and Curry had two fouls apiece barely 10 minutes into the game.

Duke's victory made the home team 6-9 in this series since the 2005-06 season.

North Carolina, which encountered stumbles early in road losses at North Carolina State and Miami, carried a 33-29 lead into halftime after building a 10-point lead.

Duke had 12 field goals and 11 turnovers at halftime.

North Carolina, showcasing a tweaked lineup that included Hairston with his second career starting assignment, broke to a 17-10 lead.

Bullock's 3-pointer pushed North Carolina's edge to 28-18.

The Tar Heels, who allowed 15 3-point baskets in Saturday's loss at first-place Miami, didn't yield a 3-pointer to Duke until nearly 16 minutes into the game. Meanwhile, Bullock had three 3-pointers by halftime.

NOTES: This was the 150th consecutive meeting between the teams when at least one of them was ranked in national polls, dating to 1955. ... Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski turned 66 on Wednesday. ... North Carolina freshman center Joel James, a 6-foot-10 reserve, didn't play because of symptoms of a concussion apparently suffered last week. ... Wednesday night's winning team is guaranteed nothing for the March 9 rematch in Chapel Hill. There hasn't been a regular-season sweep in this series the past three years.
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