Duke denies UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell's 900th win, 84-63

CorrespondentFebruary 4, 2013 

— North Carolina was looking to get Sylvia Hatchell her 900th victory as a women’s basketball coach on Sunday, but visiting Duke was in no mood to cooperate.

And the Blue Devils proved that early and often.

Chloe Wells poured in a career-high 18 points on six 3-pointers while Elizabeth Williams added 13 points and 11 rebounds, leading the No. 5 Blue Devils to an 84-63 rout of the No. 11 Tar Heels at Carmichael Arena.

The win, Duke’s fifth straight in the series, improved the Blue Devils to 20-1 overall and 10-0 in ACC play. UNC is 20-3 and 8-2 after its first home defeat of the season, with all three of its losses coming to teams currently ranked in the Top 10.

Tricia Liston added 15 points off the bench including three 3-pointers and Haley Peters 14 points for Duke, which took a huge lead early on and never let up.

“It was just a really hard-fought game,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “And I’m really proud of my team in terms of our focus coming out, being away from Cameron. There was a nice crowd supporting women’s basketball.

“As much as Chloe was hitting shots, she was an incredible defender out there for us. She was disrupting, causing turnovers, playing both sides of the ball and also tried to run the offense. She had a busy day, and Elizabeth also had a busy day being inside and really banging. It was quite physical, and I thought we learned a lot about that, too.”

The score was 19-4 following an Alexis Jones layup with 13:14 left in the first half, going to 36-7 on Richa Jackson’s layup from Jones with 6:33 left in the period.

“I really don’t know what to say – the first half we were hardly even in the gym,” Hatchell said. “I don’t know what was going on with us. I was about to use all of my timeouts.

“Duke is a great team. They’ve got lots of weapons. They were really shooting the ball well and getting some open looks. We didn’t play like I thought we would – I thought we would give them a much better game. The second half was a little bit different. We beat them by 10 points in the second half, but we were down so much.”

Duke led 50-19 at halftime. And although the noisy partisan crowd of 5,613 stayed with the Tar Heels throughout, UNC’s closest approach of the second half was at 60-42 on Brittany Rountree’s layup from Latifah Coleman with 12:33 to go.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt led the Tar Heels with 18 points including 11-for-12 from the free-throw line, while Rolle added 17 and Xylina McDaniel 12.

“I don’t think we played with a lot of intensity,” said Ruffin-Pratt, whose 11 turnovers gave her an off double-double. “We weren’t rotating well off the double-teams, off the traps. We weren’t rotating well at all.”

The Blue Devils’ 11 3-pointers on 18 attempts were a season high.

“I just think we stayed focused on the game plan,” Wells said. “When we play inside-out it’s pretty deadly. First, when we play we play for each other. So I knew when (teammates) went down I had to have their back, and it didn’t matter if there were bench players or regular players, we played the same game. We had the same focus.”

Duke shot 46.2 percent from the floor to UNC’s 33.3, won the rebound battle 45-40 and committed 22 turnovers to UNC’s 24.

“We came out really focused, I think,” said Williams, who had her third double-double of the season and eighth of her career. “We were making all the right decisions, making the right passes and getting good shots off of that. Defensively we were getting consistent stops, and that led to our offense.”

The Tar Heels will visit Boston College on Thursday night while Duke travels to Virginia on Friday. Rolle said she expects a better start for Hatchell’s second attempt at the historic milestone.

“I feel like we came out really slow,” Rolle said. “Coach came in at halftime to give us a motivational speech to wake us up, and we got back to our game in the second half. But we should not have come out like that.”

The return match is March 3 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

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