Bagley’s big 2nd half leads No. 5 Duke past UNC, 74-64
DURHAM, N.C. — With No. 5 Duke trailing its fiercest rival and struggling to match the magnitude of the moment, coach Mike Krzyzewski had a simple message for his team.
No pressure — and no set plays, either.
“Take the pianos off your back, quit playing with all the pressure in the world, get a smile on your face,” Krzyzewski said. “Just play.”
Marvin Bagley III had 18 of his 21 points in the second half along with 15 rebounds, and No. 5 Duke erased a 13-point deficit in the second half and beat No. 9 North Carolina 74-64 on Saturday night.
Grayson Allen added 15 points in his final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and Gary Trent Jr. had 13 points — including three 3-pointers in the final 10 minutes — to help the Blue Devils (25-6, 13-5) clinch the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
Duke was 8 of 15 from 3-point range in the second half — the Blue Devils made just 1 of 10 from that distance in the first half — and outrebounded North Carolina 24-13 after halftime.
“They kicked our butts in the second half,” UNC coach Roy Williams said.
Cameron Johnson scored 16 points for the Tar Heels (22-9, 11-7), while Kenny Williams and Luke Maye each had 13. Three weeks after they rallied from a double-figure deficit to win the rivalry’s first game, it was the Blue Devils’ turn to flip the script.
Duke trailed by 11 with 14 1/2 minutes to play, but once the pressure started to fade, Duke took advantage.