Duke at UNC: Get Rowdy

By Jeff Lippman - February 08, 2007

Roy Williams is on hand to see the Tar Heels down at halftime, 34-29.

The story of the first half was the crowd and the intensity of this game.

We've had a few near altercations among players and the crowd has been none too pleased with some of the ref's decisions.

The crowd and the players seem more on edge tonight and that can obviously be chalked up to the meaning of this game and what is at stake.

UNC came out firing early, but both teams have shot poorly, with Duke coming in at 37.5 percent and UNC at only 32.1 percent.

The stars of the first half...

For UNC, Ivory Latta has been forcing, but she has needed to, leading her team with eight points at the break on 3-for-9 shooting, including an ugly 0-for-5 from long range.

The MVP of the early game is easily Duke's Wanisha Smith. Smith was scoring early when Duke was cold. Once Duke started heating up, Smith only got hotter. She's hitting on all cylinders so far, raining down threes, making crazy behind-the-back in-traffic dribbles through the double-team and finishing on the lay up.

Smith has been impressive to say the least.

One interesting factor, Duke's Alison Bales--despite their lead--has essentially been shut down by the combination of Erlana Larkins and LaToya Pringle. Bales does have three blocks, but has zero points on 0-for-5 shooting and has been blocked several times already.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 07:59 PM on February 08, 2007

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