Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Sporting Alert) — The Duke Blue Devils jumped on the North Carolina Tar Heels from the opening tip and kept going on their way to a convincing 69-53 victory in ACC action on Saturday.
Mason Plumlee finished with a fine double/double of 23 points and 13 rebounds for Duke (27-4), who were beating the Tar Heels for the second time this season, and the seventh in the last nine meetings.
But the final score wasn’t a true reflection on how the actual game went, as only a late Tar Heels run in the closing minutes cut the gap for the somewhat respectable scoreline.
Duke raced out to a quick 14-0 early advantage and then went up to as many as 19 points in the first half with Seth Curry leading the way in the first stanza with 8-for-10 shooting from the field in the 42-24 half-time lead.
Curry went 2-for-3 from three point range in the first 20 minutes and scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half for the No. 3 Duke, which won its last three.
The Blue Devils were brutal in the scoring department in the first half, as they shot 69 percent on 18-of-26 shooting from the field – and went 5-of-9 for 55.6 percent from three-point range.
Duke came out and dominated the second half as well, building a massive lead that went up as many as 25 points, at 61-36 with 9:46 left in the game, as North Carolina struggled continuously to get stops and had its six game win streak ended.
Quinn Cook finished with 12 points, while Ryan Kelly only had eight points in the win.
James Michael McAdoo scored 15 points and P.J. Hairston added 14 in the defeat for North Carolina (22-9), who were well off in the first half, going just 9-for-33 from the field and 0-for-8 from 3s.