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Duke men's basketball holds off North Carolina

Duke's Quinn Cook, center, celebrates with teammates following

Duke's Quinn Cook, center, celebrates with teammates following an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Chapel Hill, N.C. Duke won 84-77. From left are Tyus Jones, Amile Jefferson and Grayson Allen. Photo Credit: AP / Gerry Broome

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Tyus Jones had a big second half to help No. 3 Duke shoot 59 percent after the break and beat No. 19 North Carolina 84-77 on Saturday night.

Jones scored 17 of his season-high 24 in the second half for the Blue Devils (28-3, 15-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who capitalized on a handful of key turnovers by the Tar Heels (21-10, 11-7) to finally get a fragile hold on a game in which neither team could get many second-half stops.

Quinn Cook added 20 points for Duke, including a tough floater to beat the shot clock with about 4 minutes left as the Blue Devils worked to hang on for their 11th straight win.

The latest renewal of the fierce rivalry was a competitive fight throughout, with UNC shooting 58 percent after halftime but unable to catch up once Duke finally got the game turned with about 6½ minutes left.

Marcus Paige matched his season high with 23 points and hit five 3-pointers to lead the Tar Heels, while Brice Johnson added 17 on 8-for-12 shooting.

The Tar Heels had let one get away in the first meeting at Cameron Indoor Stadium, blowing a 10-point lead in the final 4 minutes of regulation before falling 92-90 in overtime. Paige had said that raised the stakes even more for his team, only to see Jones take over late Saturday just as he did in the first meeting.

Jones had 22 points in that one, including a run of nine straight during Duke's frantic comeback.

He finished with six rebounds and seven assists while also going 12 for 12 from the foul line in the rematch.

New York Sports