Duke basketball cannot get enough stops to complete comeback against UNC

The Duke basketball defense failed the team in its first matchup against North Carolina.

Feb 3, 2024; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA;  North Carolina Tar Heels guard RJ Davis (4) with the
Feb 3, 2024; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard RJ Davis (4) with the / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Typically, when the Duke basketball team has struggled offensively this season it's defense has been there to bail it out, but that was not the case on Saturday night in Chapel Hill.

The No. 7 Blue Devils fell to No. 3 North Carolina, 93-84.

It was the most points Jon Scheyer's team has given up all season and it was apparent that it would be tough for Duke to win considering the style and pace of play that the Tar Heels were dictating.

North Carolina (18-4, 10-1 ACC) racked up 16 fast break points and turned 10 turnovers by Duke into 19 points.

Armando Bacot led the way with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists on 10-of-13 shooting while Harrison Ingram sparked the offensive explosion from the home squad with 21 points and 13 rebounds on 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range.

Duke (16-5, 7-3 ACC) only trailed by five points, 38-33, after a 3-pointer from Jared McCain with 2:13 left in the first half but the issues that have plagued the Blue Devils going into halftime reemerged as a 7-2 North Carolina run gave them a 10-point lead, 45-35, going into halftime.

It was something the Blue Devils could not overcome, only getting as close as eight points in the second half until Kyle Filipowski made it a seven point game. 91-84, with 16 seconds remaining.

Filipowski was disappointing despite 22 points and five rebounds, only making 1-of-6 attempts from 3-point range. Tyrese Proctor was also disappointing offensively, finishing with just two points on 1-of-6 shooting.

Jared McCain led the way with 23 points and 11 rebounds, looking unfazed in his first matchup of the rivalry while Jeremy Roach looked like the seasoned veteran he has proven to be with 20 points.

Duke will have some time to recover as a 3-game home stand begins on Wednesday night (9:00 p.m. ET, ACC Network) against Notre Dame (7-15, 2-9 ACC).