DURHAM, N.C. — While No. 4 Duke battered Evansville, ACC rival and defending national champion, No. 5 North Carolina was stunned at home by Wofford.
Freshman forward Wendell Carter Jr. scored a career-high 27 points, made 4 of 7 shots from 3-pointers and grabbed five rebounds to lead the way for Duke in a 104-40 victory at home against the Purples Aces.
Fellow classmate Marvin Bagley III added 18 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks, while Grayson Allen made four 3-pointers and went 6 of 9 from the field to finish with 16 points for the Blue Devils (12-1), who were topping 100 points for the second time in three games.
Gary Trent shot 5 of 6 from the floor and made all three of his 3-pointers for Duke, which shot 62 percent from beyond the arc and made 16 shots from long-range.
Duke freshman point guard Trevon Duval, who leads the ACC in assists this season, dished out a game-high eight helpers, as the Blue Devils had 32 assists on 39 made baskets.
Dainius Chatkevicius finished with a team-high 12 points to lead the way for Evansville (10-3), which had its five-game winning streak snapped.
The Purples Aces were missing key scorers Ryan Taylor and Dru Smith, but head coach Marty Simmons believes his team was just not good enough against the Blue Devils.
“We got no excuses,” Simmons admits. “We knew what we were getting ready to play.
“We just didn’t do a good enough job as coaches, as players. They took us out of everything we wanted to do. We couldn’t get into anything.”
Duke, which finally got a chance to practice after playing 12 games in a very busy period across the country from Nov. 10-Dec. 9, had its best defensive performance of the season.
The national powerhouses forced a season-best 21 turnovers and scored 39 points off them, blocked nine shots and ended with 13 steals for the Blue Devils, who outrebounded Evansville 33-17.
Mike Krzyzewski’s side shot 62 percent and led 58-18 at halftime.
Meanwhile, defending champion North Carolina suffered a shocking 79-75 defeat to unranked Wofford in Chapel Hill.
“I grew up in Virginia,” Wofford coach Mike Young said. “This was my team, Coach (Dean) Smith, and you see all those banners up there, and I can think back to (John) Kuester and (Walter) Davis and (Phil) Ford, all those guys.
“And to bring a team in here and not only compete and fight and do some really good things — but win — holy cow, that’s a mouthful.”
Fletcher Magee scored 27 points, made four key 3-pointers and shot 10 of 23 overall for Wofford, which snapped North Carolina’s 23-game home winning streak.
Cameron Jackson added 18 points, seven rebounds, six steals and three blocks, while Derrick Brooks collected eight rebounds for the Terriers (8-4), who won five straight.
The visitors who went into the halftime break with a 34-33 advantage, led the entire second half and went up by as many as 14 points before needing to hold on in the closing section of the game.
Joel Berry II scored 23 points to lead North Carolina, Luke Maye added 17 points and 14 rebounds, while Garrison Brooks and Cameron Johnson each had 10 points for the Tar Heels (10-2), who shot just 36 percent in the defeat.