DURHAM, N.C. – For the third time out of the last four seasons, the Duke women’s basketball team swept arch-rival North Carolina in the regular season as the Blue Devils registered a 62-44 victory in front of a sellout crowd in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Junior Leaonna Odom paced the Blue Devils (14-14, 6-10 ACC) with a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds, marking her sixth game this season she has reached the 20-point mark. Sophomore Jade Williams notched her second collegiate double-double with 15 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.
The Blue Devils got off to a good start Sunday taking a 4-0 advantage, but the Tar Heels came back to score seven straight to take a 7-4 lead. Duke came back to go on its own 7-0 run and concluded the first half with a 16-10 advantage. Odom was very active early leading the Blue Devils with seven points and two rebounds, while both teams struggled from the field hitting a combined 9-of-35 field goals.
Duke increased its lead to, 20-10, a little over two minutes into the second period, forcing North Carolina to call a timeout. The Blue Devils outscored the Tar Heels, 19-11, in the second period and led by as many as 15, 30-15, before heading into the halftime break with a 35-21 advantage.
In the second quarter, Duke hit 8-of-15 field goals for a 53.3 percentage and held the Tar Heels to 23.5 percent. Odom continued her outstanding play totaling 15 first half points, which was a season high for her in the first half. Redshirt junior Haley Gorecki, who hails from Palatine, Ill., scored eight of her points in the second quarter.
Duke extended its lead to 45-25 in the third quarter and took a 52-37 advantage into the final 10 minutes. During the third, Williams pulled down her 10th rebound and collected a double-double to go along with 12 points.
The Blue Devils struggled in the fourth quarter missing their first six attempts and not connecting on a field goal until the 4:15 mark as Odom drained a pull-up jumper. Prior Odom’s basket, the Tar Heels had closed the lead to nine. A product of Lompoc, Calif., Odom drove to the hoop for her 21st point of the contest the next time down the floor to extend the Duke lead to 57-44.
Duke was able to hold North Carolina without a basket for the final 6:42 of the contest. The 44 points for the Tar Heels was a season low. North Carolina (17-13, 8-8) was led by Paris Kea with 16 points. Duke held a 53-34 advantage in rebounds, while the 53 boards were a season high.
Gorecki finished the contest with 11 points, 10 rebounds and three assists for her eighth double-double of the season.
The 9,314 fans in attendance produced Duke’s 19th sellout crowd in school history and marked the second straight season the Blue Devils have sold out the North Carolina contest.
Duke will next compete in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro Coliseum March 6-10. The official bracket will be released following Sunday’s games.