Redick Leads Duke Over UNC, 87-83

For the previous three season J.J. Redick's regular season performances had steadily improved against every ACC opponent save one. The Duke senior had never really had a memorable game against North Carolina. On Tuesday night that all changed as Redick scored a game high 35 to lead Duke to a gutty 87-83 victory in Chapel Hill.

While Redick exorcised some personal rivalry demons in his last ever visit to Chapel Hill, freshman Josh McRoberts banished any potential ones with his best game to date in a Duke uniform. Often playing in the shadow cast by Tar Heel freshman phenom Tyler Hansbrough, McRoberts scored 17 points and grabbed five rebounds in 21 minutes of action to keep the Blue Devils perfect in ACC play.

Living up to the rivalry's reputation as the best in all of college basketball, this one went down to the wire with the teams trading runs throughout an action packed second half. And just when it seemed that the upstart Tar Heels had the necessary momentum to pull the upset, it was Redick who put a dagger in their heart.

With Duke leading by one, Redick pulled up from the right side and drained a three pointer over Wes Miller to put the Blue Devils up four with just under two minutes remaining. Two possessions later, he knocked down yet another dagger to extend the lead to seven, a lead that proved too much for North Carolina to overcome.

But not by much as the Blue Devils seemed to get rattled down the stretch, allowing a quick 6-0 UNC spurt to cut the lead back to one.

Leading by five, senior Sean Dockery missed a pair of free throws and then picked up a reach in foul with 40 seconds remaining, sending Bobby Frasor to the line to cut the lead to just three. After Duke turned it over on the next possession, Frasor would get free for a midrange jumper to make it a one possession game with 35 seconds remaining.

After struggling with the Carolina halfcourt trap, and burning their final timeout, the Blue Devils nearly coughed it up again before Greg Paulus regained control and was fouled. The freshman calmly knocked down both, making it a three point game with 17 seconds to play.

North Carolina raced down the court seeming to look for a three before finding freshman Danny Green who inexplicably drove to the baseline before throwing up a wild midrange shot that missed and fell into the arms of Shelden Williams, who was fouled and hit one of two free throws to make the final margin.

Williams finished with 13 point, nine rebounds, four blocks, and four steals. Dockery added 14 points, while Paulus added six points and seven assists.

The win is the 16th for Duke in the last 19 meetings with North Carolina, and improves the Blue Devils to 10-0 in ACC play and 22-1 overall.


Blue Devil Digest Top Stories