(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) — It’s been an up-and-down season for the North Carolina Tar Heels, but things took a turn for the better on Thursday night.
Leslie McDonald scored 21 points to lead North Carolina to a 74-66 triumph over No. 5 Duke in a rivalry game that was postponed more than a week by a winter storm.
Marcus Paige added 13 points for the Tar Heels (19-7, 9-4 ACC), who rallied from 11 points down in the second half to earn their eighth straight win. Paige scored all of his points in the second half, including two big baskets in the final 2 1/2 minutes.
“I’m not going to say we’re a finished product because we’ve got games left,” Paige said, “but man, we’re playing really well right now and we’re winning games in a lot of different ways.”
Jabari Parker and Quinn Cook led the Blue Devils (21-6, 10-4), with 17 points each. The Blue Devils shot just 36 percent (11 for 31) after halftime.
“We looked tired or we didn’t have life,” Krzyzewski said. “And no matter what we did in a timeout, we just didn’t have that spark — the anger, the emotion, the thing you have to have to match what their crowd, their team is doing. You have to try to counter that. And I just felt we were, we didn’t have the life that you needed to have.”
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