Forward Danny Ferry hit a free throw with 52 seconds left and second-ranked North Carolina missed two shots to win in the final 16 seconds as No. 9 Duke beat the Tar Heels, 70-69, in an Atlantic Coast Conference game last night in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Duke threw the ball out of bounds with 16 seconds left, but Pete Chilcutt's shot with five seconds to go fell short. Duke's Robert Brickey blocked Jeff Lebo's shot from the corner with two seconds to play, preserving the victory.

"We wanted to attack the shooter, especially with such little time left," said Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski. "Robert started on J.R. {Reid}, then moved out on Lebo when he took the shot and got a piece of it."

Lebo also missed a three-pointer with 30 seconds left, and Chilcutt couldn't get the tapin.

Kevin Strickland scored 22 points for Duke (11-2, 2-1 in the ACC). Ferry scored 19 and John Smith had 13.

Reid led North Carolina (13-2, 2-1) with 27 points -- 17 in the second half -- and Scott Williams had 14.

Duke jumped ahead at the outset, 11-2 and 29-15. "I don't know if the beginning was more Duke or if I didn't have us ready to play," said North Carolina Coach Dean Smith. "Maybe it was because we are young or maybe it was that we were not really sharp. I think more of a factor was Duke's great play."

The Tar Heels, who trailed, 55-44, with 12:53 left, tied the score at 69 with 1:24 remaining on a basket by Reid. He scored 14 of his team's final 16 points.