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UNC Women Upset #6 Duke 64-54

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Cetera DeGraffenreid scored 20 of her 22 points in the second half to help North Carolina upset No. 6 Duke 64-54 and earn a needed victory for their shaky NCAA tournament hopes.

Waltiea Rolle added 12 points, seven rebounds and six blocks for the Tar Heels (18-10, 6-8 Atlantic Coast Conference), who pushed ahead for good behind DeGraffenreid in the final 10 minutes of a physical game that included some extra tension after North Carolina freshman Cierra Robertson-Warren was ejected with about 13 minutes left.

But the Tar Heels held the Blue Devils (24-5, 12-2) without a field goal for the final 6 minutes to erase a month's worth of frustration.

North Carolina had lost seven of eight games, including a 28-point loss at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium on Feb. 8. But when this one was over, the players mobbed each other on the court while several students and fans ran on to join them.

The Tar Heels also got 11 points from She'la White, while senior Trinity Bursey turned in some valuable minutes in her final home game - including with her defense against Duke's Jasmine Thomas.

Karima Christmas scored 14 points to lead the Blue Devils, but Duke - which had already earned the top seed in next week's ACC tournament - shot just 26 percent and couldn't take advantage of countless offensive rebounds or turnovers from the Tar Heels to earn a season sweep. Thomas managed 11 points on just 4 for 16 shooting for Duke, which managed just five second-chance points despite grabbing 25 offensive boards.

The Blue Devils had clinched at least a share of the league title with Friday's 83-65 win against No. 21 Virginia and could have earned the league crown outright with a victory. But DeGraffenreid wouldn't let that happen, pushing the Tar Heels to the lead for good when she stole the ball from Shay Selby and raced in for a layup to make it 45-44 with 10:22 left.

That started a run in which DeGraffenreid scored 12 of the next 14 points for North Carolina, ending when she scored on a transition layup despite getting hit in the forehead by Selby. She hit the free throw for the three-point play, making it 57-51 with 3:58 left.

That was as close as the Blue Devils would get in the final minutes, missing shot after shot while the Tar Heels made enough free throws down the stretch to stay in control.

The game also got a bit chippy as Duke rallied from a 30-26 halftime deficit to take its first lead. Robertson-Warren was tossed for elbowing Christmas in the jaw as both teams battled for a rebound. Later on that same possession, freshman Nyree Williams fouled Christmas on a 3-point attempt and knocked her into the Duke bench in a sequence that elevated the intensity even more and charged up the home crowd in Carmichael Arena.


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