GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Elizabeth Balogun scored 11 points, the final two from the line to give No. 13 Duke the lead for good with just under two minutes left, and the Blue Devils won the lowest-scoring game in Atlantic Coast Conference tournament history, knocking off No. 18 North Carolina 44-40 on Friday night.
In a defensive battle, it was Duke who played the winning hand, holding the Tar Heels scoreless for the final 4:16.
North Carolina led by nine when Eva Hodgson nailed a 3 to put the Tar Heels in front, 30-21 early in the third quarter, but Kennedy Brown answered with a jumper and Balogun followed with a 3 and Shayeann Day-Wilson added a jumper to get within two. North Carolina still held a two-point lead to start the fourth quarter, but Celeste Taylor hit back-to-back jumpers to give Duke the lead, 38-36, and the Tar Heels took it back on back-to-back layups by Anya Poole, but they were the final points North Carolina would score. Reigan Richardson tied the game with a jumper with 2:42 to play and Balogun put Duke in front with two free throws with 1:58 left.
North Carolina (21-11) struggled offensively, hitting just 15 of 62 shots (24.2%). Deja Kelly was the lone scorer to reach double figures with 11 points on 4 of 22 shooting.
Richardson contributed 10 points for Duke (25-5), which advances to play the winner of the final quarterfinal game of the tournament be Virginia Tech and Miami.
The game was the lowest-scoring game in the history of the series. The previous low was set Sunday, when North Carolina knocked off the Blue Devils 45-41 in the ACC regular season finale, denying the Blue Devils the conference championship.