Duke basketball regains foothold in rivalry as Blue Devils beat UNC at Cameron, 63-57

Duke’s hard-nosed defense, led by a freshman, and key late baskets by its most experienced player earned the Blue Devils a thrilling win against rival North Carolina on Saturday.

Dereck Lively recorded eight of Duke’s season-high 11 blocked shots and Jeremy Roach scored eight points during the game’s final 5:45 as the Blue Devils beat the Tar Heels 63-57 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Roach finished with 20 points, while Lively had just four points but 14 rebounds to go with his eight blocked shots for Duke (17-6, 8-4 ACC).

“Derek Lively just changed the game,” Duke coach Jon Scheyer said. “Just his rim protection.”

Having done so much on defense and in rebounding, Lively exerted himself offensively with a rebound dunk to put Duke up 59-57 with 1:30 to play. That started a 6-0 Blue Devils run that ended the game.

Leaky Black missed an open 3-pointer for UNC (15-8, 7-5) with 1:02 left before Kyle Filipowski rebounded his own missed shot to allow Duke, leading by two points, to maintain possession with 35.3 seconds left.

After a timeout, Roach blew past UNC guard RJ Davis to find a driving lane in the middle of the UNC defense to score with 24 seconds left and give the Blue Devils a 61-57 lead.

“That was a ball screen between me and (Filipowski),” Roach said. “We knew they’d kind of mess up on the talking, which they did. Two guys went to Flip and I got an easy lane.”

Armando Bacot scored 14 points to lead UNC, which shot 34.3%. Bacot had just two points in the second half.

Black added 13 points while Caleb Love had 12 and Davis 11 points.

Duke’s Jeremy Roach (3) celebrates as time runs out in the game during Duke’s 63-57 victory over UNC at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023.
Duke’s Jeremy Roach (3) celebrates as time runs out in the game during Duke’s 63-57 victory over UNC at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023.

Duke shot just 39.3%, ending a streak of three games shooting 48% or better. But the Blue Devils were effective in transition, racking up 20 fast-break points to just two for UNC.

Filipowski scored 14 points and had seven rebounds for Duke. Tyrese Proctor, Duke’s freshman guard, tallied 11 points while grabbing seven rebounds and handing out five assists.

Duke’s win made Scheyer triumphant in his first game against the Tar Heels as a head coach. UNC, famously, defeated Duke both in the regular-season finale at Cameron Indoor Stadium last season and in the Final Four at New Orleans to send coach Mike Krzyzewski to his planned retirement.

Scheyer said he knew his players were engaged and ready to handle the rivalry’s pressure.

“They just had a big-time will to win,” Scheyer said. “Even when I talked to them before the game, they just had a look.”

When UNC made just 1 of its first 11 shots after halftime on Saturday, Duke partially took advantage to build a six-point lead.

From a 35-all tie, Proctor and Mark Mitchell both scored on driving bank shots in the lane. Filipowski’s basket in transition off a down court pass from Proctor put Duke up 41-35 with 14:31 to play.

With Duke up 44-38, UNC pushed back with a Love 3-pointer and a Bacot dunk after Proctor’s turnover on a Duke fast break. After a Proctor missed a shot in the lane, Love’s runner gave UNC a 45-44 lead with 11:23 to play.

Duke struggled to hit shots early in the game, making just 5 of its first 16 shots while turning it over six times. UNC’s largest lead of the first half was 19-12 with 9:20 to play.

But Duke’s half-court defense was strong enough to keep the Tar Heels from building on that lead.

After Puff Johnson’s 3-pointer gave UNC a 24-17 lead, the Blue Devils went on a 9-0 run to move in front.

While UNC went scoreless over seven consecutive possessions, Filipowski hit a 3-pointer to ignite the Duke surge.

After Mitchell split two free throws, Proctor scored on a lay-in in transition. With 3:51 left, Roach’s transition layup gave Duke its first lead of the game. He was also fouled on the play and his free throw put Duke ahead 26-24.

From there, the game saw three ties before Proctor’s 3-pointer with 1:36 left put Duke in front 33-30 before the Blue Devils took a 33-32 halftime lead.