Devils Glide By North Carolina, 64-54

The streak is over. After dropping three consecutive games against arch-rival North Carolina, the Blue Devils came out on top in the first matchup with the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, winning 64-54.

Jon Scheyer scored a game high 24 points and hit a critical three pointer with 2:35 remaining to help Duke overcome an overall horrendous shooting night and earn an eighth conference victory.

Kyle Singler added 19 points and nine rebounds, while Nolan Smith added 10 as the Blue Devils rallied from a four point deficit to close out the game on a 26-11 run despite the shooting woes from each of the three upperclassmen. The trio, which entered the game averaging just under 60 points per game, combined to go 18-of-52 from the floor.

As a team the Blue Devils hit just 22-of-69 shots from the field, but managed to shoot 50 percent from the perimeter including four of five conversions from Singler.

But when it counted the shots fell. None as big as Scheyer's three over Marcus Ginyard from the top of the key that ballooned the Blue Devils' lead to nine and effectively ended the offensively challenged Tar Heels' hopes.

With successful jump shots at a premium, Duke hit the boards hard to make up the difference. The Blue Devils finished with a 51-42 rebounding advantage that included 23 offensive rebounds that were converted into 21 second-chance points. Many of them seemed to stem the tide of momentum the home team continually tried to create by pushing the tempo.

North Carolina seemed to be primed to earn a fourth consecutive win midway through the second half when a transition layup by Dexter Strickland pushed the lead to 43-39 and forced Duke to call a timeout.

From there the veteran Blue Devils methodically tied the game at 45 and then took the lead for good on a thunderous reverse dunk - off another offensive rebound. Scheyer followed up with a midrange conversion and then followed up with a crowd silencing three to make it 52-48 with five and a half minutes remaining.

North Carolina would get no closer the rest of the way.

The victory keeps Duke alone in first place in the ACC standings, two games ahead of Maryland in the win column. On the opposite end of the spectrum the Tar Heels now sit at 2-7 in the league, just one game out of the cellar with NC State.

Note: The Blue Devils played the final 17 minutes of the game without senior Lance Thomas who left after a collision with Larry Drew that resulted in an apparent knee injury.

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