CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Deja Kelly scored 19 points, Alyssa Ustby had 10 of her 16 in the pivotal third quarter and No. 17 North Carolina held off No. 13 Duke 61-56 on Thursday night, ending the Blue Devils’ 11-game winning streak.
Eva Hodgson’s only points of the game came at the foul line in the closing seconds, her pair with 2.8 seconds wrapping up the win.
Kennedy Todd-Williams added 13 points for the Tar Heels (13-5, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who have won four straight conference games after losing their first three. They made 6 of 10 shots from the field and 8 of 10 free throws in the fourth quarter to improve to 5-3 against ranked teams this season.
Shayeann Day-Wilson scored a season-high 24 points for the Blue Devils (16-2, 6-1) but missed five free throws in the fourth quarter. Reigan Richardson added 12 points. Leading scorer Celeste Taylor was limited to one basket, that coming with 30.2 seconds left.
It was the 104th meeting between the rivals with rapper Trinidad James and former Tar Heels star Ivory Latta courtside. North Carolina leads the series 53-51 and it was the first time they were both ranked since March 1, 2015,
Ustby made all five of her shots and the Tar Heels went 9 of 10 in the third quarter to break away from a 21-21 halftime tie to take a 40-31 lead into the fourth quarter. The game was tied at 31 when North Carolina reeled off the last points, with Paulina Paris and Ustby both making two layups.
It was a less than artistic first half, which finished 21-21, the lowest scoring half for both teams this season.
Duke couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start, missing its first eight shots and turning the ball over seven times before Jordyn Oliver scored at the 2:07 mark. But the Tar Heels didn’t run away, finishing the first quarter 4 of 14 with five turnovers, for a 12-5 lead.
Then North Carolina had a 5 1/2-minute drought in the second quarter, but the Blue Devils only scored seven points, with Day-Wilson’s jumper from the foul line tying the game at 16 at the 3:38 mark.
Kelly responded with a jumper for the Tar Hells before Day Wilson’s 3 at 2:42 gave Duke the lead. The Blue Devils came back despite Taylor playing just three minutes after picking up two quick fouls.
The teams combined to shoot 15 for 50 with 21 turnovers.
North Carolina is home against Georgia Tech on Sunday while Duke is home against Syracuse.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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