North Carolina 88, Duke 72
When: 9:00 PM ET, Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, North Carolina
Recap for Digital Sports Desk by Field Level Media
DURHAM – North Carolina senior Luke Maye scored 30 points in his final appearance at Cameron Indoor Stadium and the eighth-ranked Tar Heels took advantage of the absence of Duke’s Zion Williamson for an 88-72 victory Wednesday.
Williamson, the standout forward for No. 1 ranked Duke, departed in the opening minute with a knee injury and didn’t return after his shoe tore apart as he fell awkwardly to the court. He was assisted to the locker room, and soon after it was announced he would not return to the game.
After the game, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski termed Williamson’s ailment a “mild knee sprain.”
Maye, who reached the 30-point mark for the fifth time in his career, shot 14-for-24 from the floor, with many of the baskets in the lane that was minus Williamson’s presence. Maye also pulled down 15 rebounds.
Cameron Johnson’s 26 points and Garrison Brooks’ 14 points also gave a boost to the Tar Heels (21-5, 11-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who moved into a first-place tie with Duke (23-3, 11-2) and Virginia (23-2, 11-2).
North Carolina has defeated a No. 1 team 14 times — more than any other team in the country. Eight of those victories have come against Duke, including four times in Durham.
RJ Barrett poured in 33 points with 13 rebounds while Cam Reddish scored 27 points as the freshman duo paced Duke’s scoring. The Blue Devils were playing while holding the No. 1 ranking against North Carolina for the first time in 13 years.
Williamson entered the game averaging 22.4 points per game, second best in the ACC behind Barrett.
The Tar Heels jumped on the stunned Duke team, building a 20-9 lead that seemed to set the tone.
North Carolina settled for a 42-32 halftime lead, with the Tar Heels credited with 34 points in the paint by that juncture. It was 57-37 less than four minutes into the second half.
The Tar Heels won despite 2-for-20 shooting on 3-pointers.
The teams met for the 46th time with both teams in the top 10, with each side now winning 23 of those matchups. The rematch will be March 9 in nearby Chapel Hill.
–Field Level Media