Why UNC Beat Duke
Yeah, we talked about it for 4 hours today, but it is not out of my system yet. These are the reasons UNC came from 11 down to beat Duke on Thursday night.
1) Leslie McDonald kept them close. Without L-Mac breaking out of his slump and scoring 11 points in the first half, Duke would have been up way more than 7 at the half. UNC had 9 turnovers and started 1-8 from the FT line. Without McDonald, those things would have dug a much deeper hole for the Heels.
2) Defensive Adjustments. The Heels were down 11 before Roy Williams went to the 3-2 zone. He then mixed in a 1-3-1 for the first time this season. Then back to the Man to Man. Every defensive button he pushed had Duke off balance on offense. It was the coaching move of the night.
3) Paige closed again. Marcus Paige continued his pattern of struggling in the first half , but being great in the 2nd half. He had all 13 of his points in the second half and many of those came at crunch time. He is one clutch player when the Heels need him to be.
4) Rebounding. UNC ended the night plus 13 overall on the boards and they grabbed 15 on the offensive glass. Even with Brice Johnson and JM McAdoo in foul trouble, they still dominated the glass. Major credit to Desmond Hubert who had 5 rebounds (3 offensive) in the win.
5) FT Shooting improved. After starting 1-8, the heels hit 19-23 from the line. If they continued to struggle from the Line, they might not have been able to overcome it. Credit to Nate Britt who went 6-6, including 4 straight in the final minutes.