CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The 15th-ranked Duke women’s basketball team fell in overtime to North Carolina, 92-86, Sunday afternoon in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels’ victory was the first over Duke since 2014 as the Blue Devils dropped to 15-5 overall and 4-3 in conference play. The Blue Devils led by as many as 19 in the first half before a shift in momentum.
North Carolina’s Paris Kea led the offense as she reeled in a career-high 36 points as she went 15-of-23 from the floor and 5-off-9 from behind-the-arc and dished 13 assists.
Redshirt sophomore Haley Gorecki once again led Duke with 29 career-high points as she went 9-of-22 from the field, 7-of-15 from three-point land and was perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe to go along with nine rebounds and six assists. The Palatine, Ill., native notched back-to-back 20+ points for the first time in her career and for the fourth time this season.
Fifth-year senior Lexie Brown tallied her second career double-double with 19 points and 10 boards. The Suwanee, Ga., product is one steal away from becoming the third NCAA player to register over 1,800 points, 500 assists, 200 made three-pointers and 300 steals.
The Blue Devils had a difficult time holding possession of the ball in the opening frame with three turnovers in the first two minutes before settling down with just five. Rookie Jade Williams led the Blue Devils early with four points following a jumper just inside the arc. Senior Erin Mathias set up a high ball screen to open Brown up to connect on her first trey of the afternoon before North Carolina’s Jamie Cherry connected on her first. Brown notched her second three nearing the end of the first to leave the Tar Heels scoreless for over two minutes. At the conclusion of the first 10 minutes, Duke held a 20-11 lead.
Fifth-year senior Rebecca Greenwell picked up her first points of the afternoon in the second quarter and finished the contest in sole possession of ninth place on Duke’s all-time scoring list (1,672) to pass Tricia Liston. At the eight-minute mark in the second frame, the Tar Heels were 23.8 percent (5-of-21) from the floor for the game as their last made field-goal was at the 2:36 mark of the first. Gorecki tallied 10 consecutive points with two made treys.
North Carolina was able pull within single digits of Duke’s 41-33 lead heading into the half. Brown and Gorecki led the Blue Devil offense with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Back-to-back turnovers by the Blue Devils opening the second half allowed North Carolina to pull within six before forcing Duke into a timeout with a 7-0 run. Brown ended the run with a corner three to settle a loud Carmichael crowd. Gorecki followed in Brown’s footsteps with a trey to extend the lead to seven for a 6-0 run, before a Tar Heel three at the buzzer to cut Duke’s lead to one (55-54) heading into the final 10 minutes of play.
Williams opened the fourth with a block on a jumper, good for her 25th of the season. North Carolina took its first lead of the afternoon with a three by Kea before Mathias picked up her 10th point to regain the lead. Gorecki notched two threes for a 10-0 run in over four minutes to push the Blue Devil lead to 64-57. Cherry picked up a foul on a three-point attempt and connected on two to make it a four-point game, 71-67, with 27 seconds remaining. A turnover on the Duke in-bounds resulted in a foul as they had one to give. Kea drove to the lane and pulled up for a quick two for a one-possession game with 16 seconds remaining in regulation. Greenwell was fouled with nine seconds remaining and only converted on one to remain a three-point lead. North Carolina had one last possession with four seconds remaining under their basket and Kea knocked down her fourth trey of the afternoon to send the contest into overtime.
The Tar Heels shot 80.0 percent (4-of-5) from behind the arc in overtime and 83.3 percent (5-of-6) from the floor to secure the game as they outscored Duke 20-14.
The Blue Devils shot 52.6 percent from the floor, 42.3 percent from three-point land and outrebounded the Tar Heels 41-27. As a team, Duke hit only 15-of-23 from the free-throw line and missed five in the fourth quarter and committed a season-high 26 turnovers.
Mathias ended the game with 13 points, seven boards and a career-high tying six assists in a career-high 40 minutes.
The Blue Devils will return to Cameron Indoor Stadium Thursday, Jan. 25 to welcome Boston College. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., on ACC Network Extra.