Tar Heels Reclaim Victory Bell, Down Duke

The North Carolina football team dashed out to a commanding 28-7 halftime lead and went on to beat rival Duke 45-20 Thursday night at Wallace Wade Stadium to improve to 6-5 on the season and in the process, gain bowl eligibility.

***Listen to the story***

With the loss, the Blue Devils dropped to 8-3 on the season and handed the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets the ACC Coastal division crown and a spot in the ACC Championship game opposite Florida State.

Marquise Williams threw for 374 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead the Tar Heel offense to a torrid start, and despite a few hiccups in the second quarter that could have broken the game open further, turned in an impressive performance that the careless Blue Devils were unable to match.

Williams back for the snap (Elliott Rubin)

Williams back for the snap (Elliott Rubin)

In an encouraging sign, for the first time this season, the Tar Heels had a running back eclipse the 100-yard mark in a game. It was T.J. Logan who earned the distinction with 117 yards and a touchdown.

“I think we finally put together a complete game in all three phases – offensively, defensively and special teams. Other than the three turnovers we had offensively, it couldn’t have been a more solid game for us,” UNC head coach Larry Fedora says.

In a surprising twist, the much-maligned Tar Heel defense rose to the occasion, coming up with big stops after the offensive miscues in the second quarter that gave Duke a chance to hang around in the game.

“It was huge. For the defense to go out there in those situations and hold them to no points after those three fumbles, that was big. And that gave a shot of adrenaline to the entire team,” Coach Fedora says.

Duke’s signal caller Anthony Boone tossed two touchdowns and threw for 262 yards, but he was sacked three times and gave away an interception.

“I don’t know if there are words that fit how you feel. I told the team after the game, I said ‘First thing I don’t want you to forget is all this winning that has led us to a Thursday night opportunity on national television playing your arch rival. Obviously it was a disaster from our standpoint,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe says.

***Listen to Larry Fedora’s postgame remarks***

On Duke’s first drive, UNC linebacker Jeff Schoettmer recovered a fumble. It got the Tar Heels rolling.

From there, the offense raced ahead. A 3-yard touchdown pass from Williams to Switzer got UNC on the scoreboard first, and then the defense pitched in again with a 10-yard fumble return for a touchdown by senior safety Tim Scott.

At the end of the first quarter, the Tar Heels had claimed a 21-7 lead over the Blue Devils. Duke got on the board with a 10-yard touchdown heave by Boone into the arms of Isaac Blakeney.

The Victory Bell (UNC Athletics)

The Victory Bell (UNC Athletics)

But that was the home team’s only score of the half to the dismay of the crowd. As for UNC, it added seven more points to its ledger thanks to a 1-yard Williams keeper into the end zone with 13:02 on the second quarter clock.

On the critical second half opening drive, the Blue Devils turned the ball over when Boone tossed an interception to MJ Stewart.

The Tar Heels took advantage immediately with an impressive offensive possession that ended with a one-yard touchdown by TJ Logan with 9:10 remaining in the third quarter.

Everything was going right for the Tar Heels. A season-long 30-yard field goal make by Thomas Moore to push the lead up to 38-7 with 6:23 in the third quarter, confirmed that. It was that kind of night.

UNC coasted from there, gliding to the rivalry win that earned  them back the coveted Victory Bell after a two-year hiatus.

Next up for the Tar Heels comes a season-ending in-state matchup with the N.C. State Wolfpack next Saturday in Chapel Hill.

FINAL BOX SCORE

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/tar-heels-reclaim-victory-bell-duke/

Tar Heels, Blue Devils Battle For The Bell

The North Carolina football team, 5-5 on the season, meets 8-2 rival Duke Thursday night in front of a nationally-televised audience at Wallace Wade Stadium. The Battle for the Bell kicks off at 7:30 p.m.

***Listen to the story***

With the short week, UNC head coach Larry Fedora says the Tar Heels have had to adjust everything about their preparation.

“It’s not normal. The whole week is different for you. The players have to do a great job of staying in the moment and make sure they have adjusted their minds to what day of practice it is. It’s a different situation for them,” Coach Fedora says.

Coach Fedora consoles the Pitt head coach last weekend (Elliott Rubin)

Coach Fedora consoles the Pitt head coach last weekend (Elliott Rubin)

Duke is coming off a disappointing 17-16 home loss to Coastal division foe Virginia Tech, but still controls its own destiny in the race to the ACC Championship game in Charlotte.

The hungry Tar Heels, coming off a 40-35 victory  over Pittsburgh, would like nothing more than to knock their bitter rivals off their desired path to the Queen City.

But UNC junior linebacker Shakeel Rashad says the Tar Heels will be up against it with the efficient Duke attack bolstered by a rock-solid offensive line.

“They’re very efficient. They don’t really make mistakes. Their offensive line really works well together. They’ve got some great players at quarterback and receiver. They’re spread out all over the field, and they’ve got a lot of people who can make big plays on the offensive line that allows them to do it,” Rashad says.

Coach Fedora says it’s Duke’s speedy wide receiver Jamison Crowder that gives him the most cause for concern.

Crowder has 5,197 career all-purpose yards and recently became only the 11th player in ACC football history to reach the 5,000 yard plateau.

“That guy [Crowder] can do it all. He’s got great speed and catches the ball really well. They use him in the return game, too. He’s a special player. Watching him for three years, he’s a dang-good player,” Coach Fedora says.

Jamison Crowder hits his stride (GoDuke.com)

Jamison Crowder hits his stride (GoDuke.com)

Blue Devil head coach David Cucliffe says preparing for Coach Fedora’s up-tempo and high-powered offense in just a few days has been a stern challenge.

“I have the upmost respect for what they [UNC] do. They do it extremely well. Coach Fedora is one of the brightest offensive minds in the game. I’ve followed his career all the way back, whether it was Florida, Middle Tennessee or Oklahoma State. He’s been on the cutting edge. They present a lot of problems. There’s no question they’re difficult to get ready for in just a few days,” Coach Cutcliffe says.

There will be an intriguing position battle in the contest with dynamic signal caller Marquise Williams going up against the much-improved Duke quarterback Anthony Boone.

Boone had a rough outing against the Hokies last weekend, but says he’s confident his team will take better care of the football against the Tar Heels.

“It’s not really a huge concern. We’ve had pretty good success as far as not turning the ball over and creating explosive plays. We’ve just got to go out there and be who we are and not try to speed it up too much or worry about what they’re doing. We’ve just got to go out there and execute our offense,” Boone says.

UNC’s Rashad says not having the Victory Bell out at practice the past couple seasons has been painful and has only fueled his teammates’ ambitions to reclaim the prize.

Marquise Williams escapes a defender (Elliott Rubin)

Marquise Williams escapes a defender (Elliott Rubin)

“It’s something that’s really important around here. This game means a lot to a lot of people. It means a lot to us. I remember my freshman year; we had the Bell out here at practice that week. So not seeing it out here the last couple years, you’re reminded of it,” Rashad says.

On the gridiron, UNC holds a 58-38-4 advantage in the all-time head-to-head series between the two schools.

The 101st meeting promises to be a compelling one, but the underdog Tar Heels will certainly need to put together a complete four quarters of clean, disciplined football to recapture the Victory Bell in enemy territory Thursday night.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/tar-heels-blue-devils-battle-bell/

UNC Snags 3-0 Victory Over Duke, Earns Final Four Spot

UNC celebrates the 3-0 victory over the Duke. (Daily Tar Heel)

UNC celebrates 3-0 victory over Duke. (Courtesy of the Daily Tar Heel)

The top-ranked UNC field hockey team shut out No. 9 Duke 3-0 Sunday in Chapel Hill to earn a spot in the Final Four.

The Blue Devil loss ends their season with a 13-7 record. The Tar Heels improve to 19-3 overall and extend their season another game.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be going to the Final Four,” UNC coach Karen Shelton says. “I want to congratulate Duke on a great season. They are an outstanding team and I think you could see the intensity level of the game.”

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(Photo courtesy of the Daily Tar Heel)

Senior Loren Shealy scored the first goal of the game on a penalty corner in the 32nd minute of play.

Junior Emma Bozek led the Tar Heels in scoring and scored her first goal in the 57th minute. Bozek’s second goal came in the 67th minute assisted by junior Emily Wold and brought UNC to their 3-0 lead over Duke.

“They’ve been setting me up for every single goal I’ve had this season and it’s all just come together really nice,” Bozek says. “I think my two goals today were because of some amazing passing combinations further down the field. It’s really nice to see that everyone’s really working hard and working together.”

Bozek’s second goal marked her team-high 15th goal of the season, more than her two previous years combined.

“I think they brought out the best in us today,” Shelton says. “I’m really proud of our Tar Heels. I thought it was a balanced team effort and led primarily by our seniors.”

UNC Field Hockey celebrate

For five of the women on the UNC field hokey team, Sunday marked the last home game of their college careers.

“To end my career at home against Duke, it’s arguably one of the greatest rivalry in all the sports and it’s just an amazing feeling. I really can’t describe it,” Shealy says. “You kind of dream about one of these games going into the Final Four.”

Top-ranked UNC will face No. 4 Syracuse Friday in an NCAA Tournament semifinal game in College Park, Md.

FINAL BOX SCORE

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/unc-shutouts-duke-earns-spot-final-four/

UNC Men’s Basketball Schedule Released

The UNC men’s basketball team eases into its 2014-15 campaign, but the newly released schedule is highlighted by some high-level opponents.

View the Schedule

The new 15-member Atlantic Coast Conference is stacked with talent bringing Louisville to the mix this year after Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame joined last year. The Tar Heels face the Cardinals in a home-and-home conference series this season; Carolina faces Syracuse and Notre Dame in the Smith Center and will travel to Pittsburgh.

Only one of the UNC-Duke matchups is scheduled to be carried on both ESPN and the ACC Network this year. The rivalry is the only contest carried by two networks. The ACC Network could very well still pick up the season finale in Chapel Hill on March 7.

Out of conference, the Tar Heels travel to Lexington, Kentucky to face the Wildcats in mid-December. Last year, Kentucky traveled to Chapel Hill where Carolina handed out the 82-77 defeat of Wildcats.

McAdoo Emerges as ‘Giant Killer’ Carolina Edges Kentucky 82-77

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, UNC travels to the Bahamas for the Battle 4 Atlantis. Carolina opens the tournament on Paradise Island against Butler and will face two other opponents out of the group of Oklahoma, UCLA, UAB, Florida, Georgetown, or Wisconsin.

Those dying to get to basketball season, you’ll be happy. Late Night with Roy comes three weeks earlier this year. The unofficial season tipoff is October 3.

Tar Heel Take: Late Night with Roy

The ACC officially announced the 2014-15 schedules Wednesday.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/unc-mens-basketball-schedule-released/

Stanford, Overtime Claim UNC Women’s Soccer Season Opener

The No. 4 UNC women’s soccer team dropped its season opener to No. 6 Stanford, but no regulation outcome was going to come between the two squads.

Neither team could get on the board in the first half, but the Tar Heels dominated early in shots with a 7-1 advantage, including a 5-1 nod on goal.

With five minutes left in the first period, UNC freshman midfielder Annie Kingman nearly broke the tie with a shot on frame denied by Stanford’s sophomore goalkeeper Jane Campbell.

Head Tar Heel Anson Dorrance continued his tradition of switching goalies at halftime after junior Bryane Heaberlin made the lone save of the first half. Redshirt sophomore Lindsay Harris replaced her for the second.

The shots greatly increased for the Cardinal in the second half, but even with the added pressure, neither team could get the upper hand.

The game pushed into overtime, and in the 100th minute, Stanford’s senior forward Chioma Ubogagu snuck it past Harris for the golden-goal overtime victory.

UNC finished on top in shots with the 18-12 mark, and a 9-5 tally in shots on goal.

With the loss, Carolina begins its season with an 0-1 record. The Tar Heels return to the pitch at Fetzer Field for their second and final matchup in the Carolina Nike Classic Sunday against Ohio State at 2:00 p.m., and you can hear it live on WCHL.

Stanford takes on Duke in the 12:00 noon meeting.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/stanford-overtime-claim-unc-womens-soccer-season-opener/

Duke’s Jabari Parker, Rodney Hood Declare For NBA Draft

Duke freshman Jabari Parker is entering the NBA draft.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski says in a statement Thursday it was “an honor for us to have him in our program.” In an essay posted on SI.com, Parker says the NBA offers him the best chance to develop both as a player and off the court.

There is a strong chance Parker could be the No. 1 overall pick in June. The All-American was the highest-scoring freshman in Duke history and became the first freshman to be selected team MVP since Johnny Dawkins in 1983.

He is the fifth Blue Devils player to enter the draft after his freshman season, joining Corey Maggette, Luol Deng, Kyrie Irving and Austin Rivers.

Duke sophomore Rodney Hood also announced Thursday that he would forego his junior and senior years and enter the NBA draft. According to SI.com, Hood is a top-15 draft pick.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/acc/dukes-jabari-parker-rodney-hood-declare-nba-draft/

Carolina Drops Sixth Straight, Gets Swept By Duke

The Tar Heel baseball team was on the wrong end of history Sunday at Jack Coombs Field on Duke’s campus. The Blue Devils’ 6-4 victory wrapped up their first series sweep in 20 years over the Tar Heels.

Carolina dropped its sixth straight contest to fall to 15-12 overall and 5-7 in ACC play while Duke improved to 17-12 and 7-5 in conference action.

Freshman pitcher Zac Gallen had a short stay on the mound, hitting three batters and walking two more before being taken out of the game.

Henry Sisson relieved Gallen, going 3.2 innings and allowing just two hits to keep the Tar Heels alive, but the bottom of the fifth inning went to the Blue Devils as they scored three runs to take the lead for good.

Carolina could not mount a rally against Duke’s Nick Hendrix, who pitched the final two innings to earn his first save of the year.

Next up for the Tar Heels is a home game against UNC-Wilmington Tuesday at Boshamer Stadium.

FINAL BOX SCORE

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/carolina-drops-sixth-straight-gets-swept-duke/

Tar Heels Take On Rival Blue Devils For Three-Game Tilt

The No. 18 North Carolina baseball team, 15-9 on the season, will look to put an end to its three-game slide when it takes on rival Duke, sporting a 14-12 record, for a three-game series in Durham.

Tar Heel ace Trent Thornton will take the mound to open proceedings on Friday at 6 p.m. at Jack Coombs Fields.

Head Coach Mike Fox will be hoping his players can give more run support to their pitching staff this time around. In their last two outings, the Tar Heels have managed to produce just two runs.

The Blue Devils are coming off a 3-2 midweek loss to the Davidson Wildcats.

After Friday evening’s contest, the Tar Heels and Blue Devils will tangle again on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. both days.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/tar-heels-take-rival-blue-devils-three-game-tilt/

No. 4 Duke Defends Home Court, Snaps No. 14 Carolina’s 12-Game Streak

DURHAM — The No. 14 North Carolina men’s basketball team fell to hot-shooting No. 4 Duke 93-81 Saturday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium to drop to 23-8 on the season and 13-5 in ACC play.

***Listen to the story***

With the victory, Duke improved to 24-7 overall and 13-5 in conference action. The Blue Devils also finished off a perfect season at home.

Freshman sensation Jabari Parker scored 30 points, the most by any Duke freshman against Carolina.

“I thought it was a tough night for us. I think listening to Mike’s (Coach K) comments after the last game, they didn’t have “it”. I agree with him. It’s hard to say what “it” is, but whatever the hell it is, Jabari found it,” UNC Head Coach Roy Williams says.

***Listen to Roy Williams’ postgame remarks***

Carolina’s Marcus Paige led the way for the Tar Heels with 24 points while Brice Johnson posted 15 of his own.

James Michael McAdoo got into severe foul trouble, picking up his fourth foul just one minute into the second half. His loss hampered the Tar Heels, but they managed to shoot 59.6 percent from the floor, the best all season.

The game was tight at the half, 40-37 in favor of Duke, thanks to some gritty play by the Tar Heels and poor shooting from behind the arc by the Blue Devils, going 2-13.

The second half, though, was a different story. Duke knocked down 6-10 three-pointers to pull away from Carolina and then hold on down the stretch with impressive foul shooting. Duke converted on 87.1 percent of its free throws.

After the game, Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski credited his team’s rebounding advantage as a key to the victory. The Blue Devils outrebounded the Tar Heels 34-20.

***Listen to Coach K’s postgame remarks***

Duke drew first blood with a score by Rodney Hood and Andrew Dawkins was next to score for the Blue Devils to give the home team the 4-0 lead.

McAdoo  put the first points on the board for Carolina with a physical play inside. But Duke answered immediately to take the 7-2 lead with 17:30 to play in the half.

Tokoto knocked down a smooth jumper to close the gap down to three points. Dawkins sunk one on the other end and drew the foul, making the point after to give Duke the 10-4 lead.

With 15:43 to play in the half, the Blue Devils held the 10-4 advantage.  Turnovers were traded back and forth, until Duke broke the run with an inside score to take the 12-4 lead.

Brice Johnson cleaned up a rebound and tossed it in for a score to end a long drought for the Tar Heels. The defensive intensity by Duke was making life difficult for Carolina. Head Coach Roy Williams called a timeout.

A Johnson dunk briefly silenced the crowd. With 11:12 to play in the half, Duke had a 19-10 lead against UNC.

McAdoo knocked down a couple important free throws, but Carolina was finding it tough to stop the Blue Devil offensive attach. McAdoo nailed down a jumper as the shot clock was running out to close UNC within four.

McAdoo worked his way to the free throw line by pressing the issue in the paint. He knocked down both foul shots. Carolina trailed Duke 29-25 with 5:13 to go before halftime.

Carolina got some help from Paige and Johnson down the stretch as the halftime scoreboard read 40-37 in favor of the Blue Devils.

Duke only managed to shoot at a 15.4 percent clip from behind the arc while UNC shot 61.9 percent from the floor.

James Michael McAdoo recorded 11 points, but collected three fouls in the first half. Duke’s Jabari Parker tallied a team-leading 16 points.

Parker opened the second half with a make to ignite the Cameron crowd. And a sloppy turnover by UNC’s Johnson followed.

McAdoo picked up his fourth foul just one minute into the second half and promptly took a seat on the bench.  Hood darted to the basket, making the shot and converting on the point after for a three-point play. The Blue Devils held a 47-39 lead with 17:08 to play.

Kennedy Meeks went up soft inside and failed to get the basket to go, handing the ball back to Duke. With 16:26 to play, the Blue Devils held a 50-39 lead before McDonald popped a jumper through the nets to reduce the deficit back down to single digits.

Nate Britt hit a mid-range shot to keep UNC within shouting distance at 55-44 with 14:51 to play in the contest.

Cook’s run-out score pushed the Blue Devil lead out to 59-44 with 14:22 to play.

Tokoto defends Cook (GoHeels.com)

Tokoto defends Cook (GoHeels.com)

McDonald knocked down a three-pointer to close the Duke lead down to 13 points with 13:07 remaining. And Paige followed that score up with a determined make and Duke called a timeout up 62-51 with 12:44 to play.

Rodney Hood hit a wide-open three-pointer for Duke as the Carolina defense failed to contest the shot.

Joel James threw the ball away for an easy Duke score in transition. The game was quickly getting away from the Tar Heels.

Parker hit a jumper that slid through the nets off the rim to give Duke the 71-53 lead with 9:36 left to play.

Parker sniped another shot from behind the arc to push the Blue Devil lead out to 74-55 with 8 minutes remaining.

With 5:55 remaining in the game, Carolina trailed Duke 77-61. McAdoo responded with a quick score off the backboard.

Tokoto found an open lane and scored driving to the basket to cut the deficit down to 12 points with 3:55 on the clock.

Carolina cut the Duke lead down to ten points off a Johnson make inside. Britt committed a costly foul after the shot clock was drained all the way down. Duke’s Cook made both of them.

Paige converted on a three-point play to cut the Duke lead down to 81-73 with 2:41 to play.

The Carolina defense stiffened, causing a Duke turnover, but Paige’s shot fell short for the Tar Heels. Cook was fouled on the other end and knocked down both free throws to extend the lead back out to ten.

Parker battled his way to line, converting on both foul shots to give the Blue Devils full command of the contest yet again at 86-73 with 1:51 to play.

Paige fought admirably down the stretch, but the deficit was too much for the Tar Heels to overcome.

Next up for the Tar Heels is the ACC Tournament quarterfinals in Greensboro Friday. Carolina will be the fourth seed.

Final Box Score

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/carolina-4/

Carolina-Duke: Round Two at Cameron Indoor

The No. 14 North Carolina men’s basketball team, 23-7 on the season and 13-4 in ACC play, will take on No. 4 Duke, 23-7 overall and 12-5 in conference, Saturday night at 9 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and as usual in this Tobacco Road Rivalry, there’s a lot on the line.

***Listen to the story***

Ahead of the Duke showdown, Head Coach Roy Williams says he’s seen some mental and emotional fatigue out of his team lately, but the coaching staff is encouraging the players to get excited for postseason play.

“I think mentally you just, ‘Gosh, you have to take a deep breath.’ You realize now is when we really get to start having some fun. So we try to talk about that a little bit, but they’ve got to handle it,” Coach Williams says.

Coach Williams says more than any other team they face, the Tar Heels have to make guarding the three-point shot a priority against Duke, an historically elite perimeter shooting program.

“They shoot so many and have been so successful – just look at their percentages. We pay more attention to that and try to emphasize it. You hope that when they miss that you can get something going on the offensive end and capitalize on that,” Coach Williams says.

When asked the best way to go about defending Duke’s Jabari Parker, a hot favorite for national rookie of the year, Coach Williams implied it was a nearly impossible task.

“You hope he sprains his ankle going up the steps. That’s the best way. I don’t mean that in any derogatory way, but that’s one way to guard him if he’s sitting over on the bench. He’s got the complete game,” Coach Williams says.

All jokes aside, it was Carolina’s defensive intensity that made the difference in the second half against Duke in the Tar Heels’ 74-66 home win on Feb. 20.

Sophomore point guard Marcus Paige says Carolina will need to reach their maximum potential Saturday night and play a complete 40 minutes of high-level basketball.

“We might have a little bit more of a margin of error than maybe earlier in the season. But at this time of the year against a team like Duke in Cameron, the margin of error is not very big. We understand if we play the way we have the past couple games, that’s not going to get it done,” Paige says.

Will McDonald's shots fall Saturday? (Todd Melet)

Will McDonald’s shots fall Saturday? (Todd Melet)

This year’s Tar Heel squad seemingly relishes the big-time games against elite national programs. Carolina’s game has shown brightest in the crucible of the national spotlight.

Senior Leslie McDonald says the toughness and cohesiveness of the team is put on display in the biggest games.

“We just have a mindset. If it’s a big-time team, we just come together closer. We have a mindset that we’re not going to back down. We’re going to give it our best shot and see if we can come out with the victory,” McDonald says.

With a victory Saturday, Carolina would assure itself of a three seed in next week’s ACC Tournament. A win coupled with a Syracuse loss in Tallahassee would mean UNC would snag the No. 2 seed next week. Few would have thought these scenarios possible just a few short weeks ago.

Carolina leads the all-time series with Duke 133-104 and is looking to complete a season sweep of the Blue Devils. That will be no easy task. Duke hasn’t lost back-to-back regular season games since Feb. 2009 and is a perfect 16-0 at home this season.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/carolina-duke-round-two-cameron-indoor/