Hot shooting off the bench kept the Tar Heels in the game early. N’Dea Bryant shot 4-4 in the first half after starting on the sideline. Stephanie Mavunga and Britney Roundtree added 11 between the pair. Starters Latifah Coleman and Allisha Gray also contributed 11 shooting 2-3 each from the field in the first.
At the break, Carolina held the two-point lead, 34-32.
However, the Heels opened up the second half on a 10-2 run, extending the game to a double-digit lead. Just before the less-than-12-minute media timeout, UNC went on another run to extend the lead to 19 at 58-39.
Virginia whittled away at the lead in the final quarter of the game. With 16 seconds, the Cavaliers brought it back to a four-point game off a three from game-high scorer, Faith Randolph. However, Carolina hit its free throws down the stretch and held on for its fourth-straight win.
After averaging more than 30 points and putting up two season high nights of 30 and 38 last week, the Cavaliers had freshman Diamon DeShields’ number in the first holding her scoreless off two shots. She finally got on the board just more than three minutes into the second frame and tallied seven points.
Virginia’s Randolph led all players with 24 points. Carolina was led by Gray who scored 18; Mavunga had a double-double with 17 points and ten rebounds.
With the win, Carolina improved to 21-6, 9-4 in the ACC; Virginia fell to 13-13, 6-7.
With just three games remaining in the regular season, the Tar Heels return home Sunday to host last-place Virginia Tech at 2:00 p.m.