Blue Devils secure outright ACC regular season title with 69-63 win over UNC

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Photo courtesy of Duke photography

Chapel Hill, N.C.Kathleen Scheer made her second straight start for the Blue Devils, scoring two points, swatting away one block and a steal, as they knocked off North Carolina 69-63 to clinch the ACC regular season title, 11th time in school history and the first time since 2006-07.

Duke’s “Dynamic Sophomore Trio” (Tricia Liston, Chelsea Gray, Haley Peters) combined for 36 of the teams 69 points in this afternoon’s showdown against the archrival Tar Heels. Liston put up a team high 15 points, Gray added 12 points and seven assists and now owns Duke’s single season record with 173 assists.

The Blue Devils were ahead most of the game and at point had built a 17 point lead early in the second half before the Tar Heels went on a run on there own coming within four points at the 1:30 mark.  Duke was able to fend off the charging Tar Heels by hitting key free throws down the stretch.

The last time these two teams met on Feb. 6 the Blue Devils exploded from three-point land, hitting 8 of 10 in the first half and running over the Tar Heels by 40.

Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie said, “I love the fact that we were rebounding and really aggressive to the ball. We have been trying to improve, and any time that a team shoots 52 percent from the floor, that's a sign of excellent ball movement and great, savvy play by the guards, particularly Chelsea in terms of her decisions and what she's trying to do with her team on the floor and also our terrific post players just in terms of how they're taking it strong in the paint and finishing. It was a good game, and great lessons.”

Sophomore Haley Peters received an inadvertent elbow to the mouth in the first half.  During halftime she received 16 stitches.  Her counter part Chelsea Gray said, “She's our warrior. She's the backbone of this team and when we saw her come back into the game, I turned to her and said 'Welcome back,' and it was just good to have her back on the floor."

Duke will next play on Fri., Mar. 2 as the number one seed in the ACC tournament.  They will take on the winner of the Florida St./NC State game.