Duke women beat UNC in overtime

The archrivals in blue went toe to toe for 40 minutes.

And then the overtime was all Duke.

Senior center Elizabeth Williams scored a career-high 33 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, leading three players with double-doubles as No. 15 Duke took a 74-67 win over No. 12 North Carolina in ACC women’s basketball Sunday at Carmichael Arena.

The result, in front of a sellout crowd of 6,822, snapped Duke’s five-game road losing streak and improved the Blue Devils to 14-6, 5-2 in ACC play. The Tar Heels fell to 17-4 and 4-3. It was the first time since March of 2000 that the teams had met while neither was ranked in the Associated Press Top 10.

Freshman Rebecca Greenwell added 14 points and a season-high 14 rebounds for the Blue Devils, while Ka’lia Johnson added 12 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.

“I think it’s been a great day for Duke,” McCallie said, congratulating men’s coach Mike Krzyzewski on his 1,000th win earlier in the day. “That (1,000 wins) is something I’ll never see in my coaching career.

“I’m very proud of Elizabeth and the way she was in attack mode. I thought the game was very physical and she handled herself very well and had a super game. For Becca to do all that she did plus get 14 rebounds was incredible. And Ka’lia added enormously.”

Allisha Gray led the Tar Heels with 20 points, while Stephanie Mavunga added 15 points and 15 rebounds and Latifah Coleman 14 points.

UNC leads the series 49-41. Duke leads the series 11-10 since Joanne P. McCallie took over as coach.

“Our fans helped us fight back in the second half when we tied the game up,” UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell said. “It was a great game. We had our chances, but (Duke’s) rebounding was a really, really big factor.

“Before the game I said to Elizabeth Williams, ‘What do you want for graduation?’ She said ‘I’m not really sure.’ I said ‘Honey, I’m going to buy you a graduation present.’ But she’s a heck of a player and we couldn’t do anything with her.”

The effort was far better than the execution for both teams. Duke shot 38.7 percent to the Tar Heels’ 30.3. The Blue Devils – who had forward Oderah Chidom for the first time in three games because of her separated shoulder – won the rebounding battle 61-47, but committed 23 turnovers to the Tar Heels’ 14.

“Obviously I give credit to my teammates for getting the ball inside to me,” Williams said. “I actually didn’t know how many points I had. I was just really just trying to be aggressive. Coach said she wanted us to grow as the game went on and we definitely did. It was a fun game.”

The Tar Heels led 38-28 at halftime behind Coleman’s 13 points. Duke’s biggest lead of the first half was eight, when Amber Henson’s 3-pointer made it 17-9 at 10:32.

Duke led 62-58 after Williams’ three-point play with 3:36 left in regulation, but N’Dea Bryant hit a jumper with 1:12 left and then Mavunga two free throws at 37.8 to tie.

“Elizabeth is a tough player and she does a good job of posting up,” Mavunga said. “She knows how to use her body very well. She’s a senior, and I think she outsmarted me in some ways. But I could have played better defense on her. I shouldn’t have conceded her the ball so much.”

Coleman had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but Williams stopped it with one of her four blocks.

Duke then scored the first eight points of the extra period, the first five on a Williams hook shot and then a Greenwell 3-pointer at 3:39.

“The way Elizabeth played opened up the inside and the outside,” Greenwell said. “I was just trying to be aggressive, especially on the offensive boards, and just adjusting to the physicality of the game.”

The rematch is March 1 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Duke’s next game is against visiting Pittsburgh on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. UNC hosts Boston College on Sunday at 2.