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Notes: Duke 85, North Carolina 84
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/09/2012
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Team Notes:
•    Austin Rivers nailed a buzzer-beating three-pointer from long range over North Carolina’s 7-0 center Tyler Zeller in the final second to overcome a two-point deficit and lead Duke past North Carolina 85-84. Rivers finished with a career-high 29 points, the highest point total by a Blue Devil this season and the highest by an ACC freshman. Rivers scored 16 points in the second half.
•    Zeller went to the line with 14 seconds remaining, hit his first free throw but missed the second. Mason Plumlee pulled in the rebound and handed the ball to Rivers, who took the ball down the court with nine seconds remaining. Rivers ran the clock down to the final 1.4 seconds before firing his game-winning three-point jumper.
•    Duke improved to 102-131 in the all-time series against North Carolina. The Blue Devils are 37-36 against the Tar Heels under Coach K. Duke has won five of the last six games in the North Carolina series and 22 of the last 32 meetings.
•    Duke is now 5-3 in games decided by six points or less this season.
•    Duke has now won two of the last three meetings in the Dean Smith Center. When the first Duke-North Carolina meeting of the season occurs in Chapel Hill, Duke is 5-0 since Roy Williams took over as head coach at North Carolina.
•    The game marked the 43rd time that both Duke and North Carolina were ranked in the AP Top 10. Duke is 22-21 in those games.
•    With the win, Duke improved to 15-0 when playing after a loss since February, 2009. The Blue Devils own a (14.6+) scoring margin in those games and have not lost back-to-back games since Feb. 11 and Feb. 15, 2009.
•    North Carolina won the battle in the paint, scoring 42 points down low to Duke’s 12, but the Blue Devils won the perimeter matchup and scored 42 points on three-pointers to North Carolina’s three. Rivers hit a career-high six three-pointers for Duke while Seth Curry hit four.
•    The Tar Heels attempted a season-low six three-pointers and made only one of those.
•    Duke used the starting lineup quintet of Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly, Mason Plumlee, Austin Rivers and Tyler Thornton for the seventh time this season. Duke is 6-1 when those five start a game.
•    Duke opened the game hitting five of its first 10 three-point attempts.
•    The Blue Devils held North Carolina’s leading scorer Harrison Barnes scoreless for his first 11 minutes of the game and without a field goal until the second half. Barnes scored his first points on a pair of free throws with 6:02 remaining in the first half and did not hit a field goal until the 18:40 mark in the second half. Barnes went on to score 23 points in the second half.
•    Duke allowed two players to record double-doubles in the same game for only the second time all season.
•    Duke led for a total of 15:40 in the first half. Beginning at the 16:48 mark in the half, Duke did not relinquish its lead until the Tar Heels tied the game 39-39 with 1:19 remaining. The Tar Heels took a 43-40 lead into halftime, and Duke did not lead again until the end of the game after Rivers’ game-winning three-pointer.
•    North Carolina carried the lead into halftime for only the third time in the last eight meetings.

Player Notes:

Seth Curry

•    Scored in double figures for the fourth straight game against North Carolina. Curry scored 22 points, 20 points and 11 points in Duke’s three matchups in 2010-11, averaging 17.7 points per game, and scored 15 tonight. For his career, Curry averages 18.5 points per game against the Tar Heels.
•    Scored in double figures for the 15th time this season and the 30th time in his career.
•    Recorded his first career four-point play. Curry sank a three-pointer with contact at the 11:43 mark in the second half and then sank the ensuing free throw. Curry leads the ACC with a .872 free throw percentage, which ranks as the eighth best in Duke history.

Andre Dawkins
•    Came off the bench to contribute eight points, all of which came in the first half.
•    Hit multiple three-pointers for the 12th time this season. Dawkins leads Duke with 53 treys this season and has hit a three-pointer in nine straight games.
Ryan Kelly
•    Drew his 15th starting assignment of the year. Duke is 13-2 when Kelly starts a game.
•    Scored 15 points, including 10 in the second half. Kelly scored eight points in the final 7:05, including a short-range jumper with 14 seconds that cut North Carolina’s lead to one point at 83-82.

Mason Plumlee
•    Made his 45th consecutive start. Duke is 37-8 during that 45-game streak.
•    Recorded two blocks, bringing his career total to 130 and moving him into sole possession of seventh place on Duke’s all-time list. Plumlee leads Duke and ranks seventh in the ACC with 38 blocks this season. He has recorded at least two blocks in 12 games this season.
•    Hauled in 14 rebounds, giving him at least 10 boards in a team-leading 12th time. Plumlee has led Duke in rebounding 18 times this season.
•    Pulled down a key rebound on Tyler Zeller’s missed free throw with 11 seconds remaining.

Austin Rivers
•    Scored a career-high 29 points for his team-leading sixth 20-point game of the season. Rivers has scored at least 20 points in three of Duke’s nine ACC games and leads all ACC players in 20-point games.
•    Rivers’ 29 points tied for the most by a Duke player this season.
•    Hit a career-high six three-pointers, finishing 6-of-10 from the three-point line for the game.
•    Scored 10 of Duke’s first 12 points, hitting a pair of three-pointers, a putback layup and two free throws in the first 3:45 of the game.
•    Scored in double figures for the team-leading 20th time this season and in the seventh straight game. Rivers leads all ACC freshmen in double-figure scoring games.
•    Led Duke in scoring for the team-leading 10th time this season. With 15.1 points per game, Rivers is on pace to become the first freshman to lead Duke in scoring since Johnny Dawkins in 1982-83.