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Jones, No. 5 Duke women beat No. 15 UNC 65-58

Sunday - 3/3/2013, 7:44pm  ET

Duke's Allison Vernerey, left, and North Carolina's Krista Gross struggle for possession of the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Sunday, March 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

JOEDY McCREARY
AP Sports Writer

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Duke freshman Alexis Jones kept attacking the rim, drawing contact and hitting big free throws.

She refused to come out and say North Carolina couldn't stop her.

The stat sheet made that claim for her.

Jones scored a season-high 22 points to help the fifth-ranked Blue Devils beat No. 15 North Carolina 65-58 on Sunday for their Atlantic Coast Conference-record 17th regular-season league victory.

The freshman was 11 for 12 from the free-throw line -- the entire Tar Heels team only made nine -- and established a personal-best scoring performance for the second time in eight days. This one was seven better than her previous high of 15 set last Sunday in a win at Maryland.

Both of those big games have come in the four games after do-it-all point guard Chelsea Gray was lost with a season-ending knee injury. Duke improved to 3-1 without her.

"We're still a work in progress. ... When Chelsea goes out, it's a brand new season," coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "I just think Lex is really getting better every single game, and she's getting a feel by being on the floor and directing things."

Elizabeth Williams added 13 points for the Blue Devils (27-2, 17-1), who beat their archrivals for the sixth straight time. They did it by overcoming a season-high 29 turnovers and forcing the hot-and-cold Tar Heels (26-5, 14-4) to miss 19 consecutive shots during a span of roughly 10 minutes in the second half.

"It wasn't a pretty game," McCallie said. "Any time you have that many turnovers, you want to kind of wipe that out on the stat sheet. But it's just not about pretty at this time of year."

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt led North Carolina with 16 points on 5-of-23 shooting.

"We got good looks and open shots," Ruffin-Pratt said. "We just couldn't hit them."

And yet the Tar Heels got as close as six points in the final minutes, clawing to 50-44 when freshman Xylina McDaniel was fouled while making a layup with 3:03 left.

After she missed the free throw, Duke pulled away.

Jones raced downcourt to convert a three-point play and Richa Jackson followed that with a stickback with 2
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