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Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014
Chapel Hill, NC - UNC's Marcus 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 for their eighth straight win.
Head Coach Roy Williams
"Well, we certainly played a lot better in the second half, I think. For a few minutes there both teams were fighting so hard it wasn't very pretty. It's really two teams that fought awfully hard and understand where they stand in this rivalry. It's a great, great rivalry and it's fun to be involved in it. Loved our guys' composure down the stretch. Free throws have been a problem for us; there is no question. We stepped up there, Nate [Britt] made four in a row there at the end, Marcus [Paige] made a couple, Brice [Johnson] made a couple. I think that was really big for us. The crazy thing is, I thought Desmond Hubert was really big for us, but he went to the free throw line and it just kills him when he shoots it like that so we took him out at that point, but Leslie [McDonald] showed up to night. Leslie has been struggling to say the least, and he made some big baskets for us. It was a bunch of guys that really fought really hard, and I couldn't be prouder of my team than I am right now."
On Duke seeming tired
"Didn't even have that thought. I just looked at my team and thought that Marcus was tired at one point, and that worried me a bit. I took him out around a TV time out and let him sit there for three of four seconds and I asked him if he was ready to go back in. We did try to look down the court, but we didn't get much out of the fast break. 8 points to their 2. We really did want to push the ball, but didn't do a very good job of that."
On missing 13 straight shots and struggling with shooting in this game
"You know I said before the game, that we hope to guard but we also would like for them to miss some shots and I think it was a little bit of both. I think we guarded them OK, but also I think that they missed some shots. The only one I thought they missed one time, it hit and crawled back over the rim, in for three, but they missed some shots that they normally make. They were really hurting us, putting the ball on the floor and driving it to the baskets. So we went zone in the trap and that helped us some, but it was a bunch of kids playing their rear ends off."
On the atmosphere of today's game
"It ranks up there. The biggest thought I had when I came out, the crowd was into it so much. Last year on senior day, I felt that we really let the crowd down, and I didn't want to do that tonight. Our crowd was sensational the whole game, even when we were down, they were into it. We would like to have them that enthusiastic against everybody. But I did, last year it was electric on senior day and then they came out and hit us right in the mouth with about 16, 14 points in a row. It was the only negative thought I had before the game sitting on the bench, I hope we don't let them down."
Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski
"Well [North Carolina] just played a great second half, and we just didn't respond to it. The crowd, the team, the intensity-we couldn't match it. We just couldn't match it and that's why they won. They played really well in that second half with great determination. When you have a chance, you can't miss layups and inside stuff and free throws. You have a little bit more of a chance; you've got to put high percentage shots in. We didn't do that and that gives the other team even more incentive when the other team is not putting the ball in the basket. They played a lot better than we did in the second half, I thought they came out great and we responded really well and we played a heck of a first half. We looked tired or we didn't have life. No matter what we did in a timeout, we just didn't have that spark. That spark, the anger, the emotion, the thing you have to have to match what their crowd and their team is doing. You have to try to counter that and I just felt we didn't have the life that you needed to have. Again, they deserve to win. The way they played in the second half was outstanding and I'm disappointed that we couldn't play better in the second half."
On the emotion of the game
"Our team has played so well, and we are in a crazy time but the emotion of this game and the respect you have for your opponent and being in this game should carry you through. I thought we played young and we didn't have the life. We couldn't get that. There was something missing, Carolina wasn't. I'm not saying we would've won, but we would've been a lot more interesting there."
On what was missing
"You need to have it on both ends of the court. We didn't have it, whatever the hell 'it' is. The second half, it wasn't in our huddle. When you have it, I thought Carolina had it, then you're going to lose to a team like that. You hope that both teams have it then you have like the first half, it was a heck of a fight. We still had a chance to win. Their credit, they hit their free throws and really executed down the stretch. They're playing great, they have a really goo basketball team. You're not going to beat them without two halves that are worthy of winning."
On the emotional atmosphere
"I think it's an emotional game. No matter what you talk about until you're in it, you don't know. They're kids, kids, men-it can affect you. The atmosphere was sensational, but we should want that and we do. That's a great atmosphere to play in, but sometimes it can hurt your communication patterns. You can start to think of what you're doing instead of what we're doing. That can have an impact, no question."