Marcus Paige turned in yet another big second-half performance for North Carolina. This time it was good enough to help the Tar Heels beat No. 5 Duke in the rivalry’s weather-delayed game.
Paige scored all 13 of his points in the second half, including two big baskets in the final 2½ minutes, to help the Tar Heels beat the Blue Devils, 74-66, on Thursday night in Chapel Hill, N.C., for their eighth straight win.
Senior Leslie McDonald added a season-high 21 points for the Tar Heels (19-7, 9-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who rallied from 11 down in the second half to snap a two-game home losing streak to the Blue Devils (21-6, 10-4).
It was by far North Carolina’s most impressive win during the run that has helped the Tar Heels dig out from an 0-3 ACC start.
When it was over, UNC students and fans stormed to midcourt to celebrate a win that came eight days later than they had hoped due to a winter storm that forced the game’s postponement last week.
The Tar Heels shot 47 percent and even made their last 10 free throws in the final six minutes.
Jabari Parker and Quinn Cook both scored 17 points to lead Duke, which led, 51-40, with about 15 minutes left before going ice cold from the field. The Blue Devils missed 13 straight shots and went scoreless for six minutes in one stretch.
UConn 68, Temple 55 — Shabazz Napier had 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists as the No. 21 Huskies (21-5, 9-4 American Athletic) fought off the determined Owls (7-8, 2-11) in Philadelphia to win their fourth straight despite shooting 2 for 13 from 3-point range.
Ryan Boatright added 14 points and DeAndre Daniels had 13 for the Huskies.
Quenton DeCosey scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half for Temple, at one point scoring all of his team’s points for more than a 13-minute stretch. He grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
The Owls shot just 33 percent from the field.
Michigan State 94, Purdue 79 — Gary Harris scored 25 points, Adreian Payne added 23, and the No. 13 Spartans (22-5, 11-3 Big Ten) hit a season-high 17 3-pointers in an easy win over the host Boilermakers (15-11, 5-8).
Memphis 64, Rutgers 59 — Michael Dixon Jr. scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half and the No. 22 Tigers (20-6, 9-4 American Athletic) led from start to finish against the host Scarlet Knights (10-17, 4-10).
Towson 79, Northeastern 70 — T.J. Williams scored 17 points and Scott Eatherton had 15 points and nine boards but the host Huskies (9-19, 6-8, Colonial Athletic) were roughed up by the Tigers (19-9, 10-3).
Fairleigh Dickinson 63, Bryant 52 — Mustafaa Jones scored 19 points to help the visiting Knights (9-17, 5-7 Northeast) snap a five-game losing streak with a win over the Bulldogs (16-11, 8-4), who were led by Corey Maynard’s 17 points.
Mount St. Mary's 87, Central Conn. 76 —Sam Prescott scored 19 points and the Mount (11-14, 7-5 Northeast) rallied from a 15-point deficit at the half to beat the Blue Devils (9-17, 5-8) in New Britain, Conn.
Fairfield 72, Niagara 66 — Maurice Barrow hit five 3-pointers and finished with 19 points and Marcus Gilbert added 15 points as the visiting Stags (6-22, 3-14 MAAC) held off the host Purple Eagles (6-22, 3-14) down the stretch.
Quinnipiac 88, Canisius 81 — Umar Shannon tied a season high with 26 points and Ousmane Drame had 14 points and 13 rebounds as the Bobcats (18-8, 13-4 MAAC) held off the Golden Griffins (18-10, 12-5) in Buffalo.
Notre Dame 86, Wake Forest 61 — Jewell Loyd had 29 points and 10 rebounds and the No. 2 Irish (26-0, 13-0 ACC) overcame a poor-shooting night to beat the host Demon Deacons (14-12, 5-8).
Duke 83, N.C. State 70 — Tricia Liston scored 24 points and Haley Peters scored 5 of her 13 for the No. 7 Blue Devils (24-3, 11-2 ACC) after the No. 14 Wolfpack (22-5, 9-4) trimmed a 24-point lead to 4 in Durham, N.C.
Clemson 72, BC 67 — Nicole Boudreau scored a season-high 25 points but it was not enough as the Eagles (12-16, 3-11 ACC) dropped a road game to the Tigers (12-16, 4-10).
Hofstra 63, Northeastern 58 — Jewell Tunstull supplied 22 points and 14 rebounds but the visiting Huskies (10-15, 4-8 CAA) committed 17 turnovers and fell to the Pride (11-12, 6-6).