Last season, the two programs paired for memorable extra inning affairs in postseason play. Carolina ultimately sent N.C.State home from the College World Series in Omaha last June.
But this year is a different story. Both squads come into the contest with surprisingly mediocre records. The Tar Heels are sitting at 21-15 overall and 9-9 in the ACC while the Wolfpack have a 20-15 mark overall and a 6-12 record in conference play.
But Head Coach Mike Fox says he was encouraged by Carolina’s series victory over WakeForest last weekend.
“We were disappointed we didn’t get the sweep on Sunday, but all in all, it was a good weekend for us. I thought our kids played well all weekend,” Coach Fox says.
Oddly, the Tar Heels and Wolfpack would not have played this season if not for the scheduling of this one-game neutral site event. Coach Fox says the Bulls have been wonderful partners in making the contest a reality.
“The Bulls were very cooperative. We came up with this date. The Bulls got behind it. […] Let’s hope we can play,” Coach Fox says.
The rainy weather in the forecast is casting some doubt on whether the game will even be played, but both teams and the 10,000 fans who have already bought tickets to sold-out Durham Bulls Park, will be keeping their fingers crossed for some baseball under the lights Tuesday night.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/carolina-collides-nc-state-duel-dbap/
Day turned to night in Greensboro. A team from down the road in Raleigh made some noise thanks to two special players.
#7 NC State vs. #10 Miami
This one felt different from the beginning. The electricity had arrived in the Coliseum as the Wolfpack darted out to a 7-2 lead. The atmosphere was awesome.
Miami was definitely keying on ACC Player of the Year T.J. Warren, but the man could still find a way to score. He’s just that good.
But the Hurricanes and Head Coach Jim Larranaga were throwing everything and everybody at him. Slowly but surely, the Canes were climbing back with some defensive tenacity.
Darius Adams was making some nice moves on the offensive end for Miami as the Wolfpack struggled to run their own offense, missing shot after shot.
With 7:19 to play before halftime, NC State held a narrow 13-12 advantage. Ralston Turner was leading the scoring charge for the Wolfpack with six points. The game’s pacing was much more to Miami’s liking.
It was looking more and more like the first team to sixty points may win the game. At the half, the Wolfpack held a 26-22 advantage.
Impressively, NC State only committed a single turnover in the entire first half of action. But the shooting woes were evident for the Wolfpack, who only shot 32 percent from the floor. The Canes shot a more respectable 42 percent as a team.
Miami led in total rebounds 18-12 and scored 16 of their 22 points in the paint.
More importantly, however, the trampoline dunking show at halftime was on point! You just had to turn a blind eye to all the traveling.
If anybody likes a good churro, might I suggest grabbing one at the Coliseum? Very delicious – had too many to count!
Meanwhile, NC State and Warren came out blazing in the second half and claimed a 32-24 lead just 2.5 minutes into it.
But Miami bounced right back with Larranaga barking out orders from the sideline. He’s really a heck of a coach, that guy. He’s a battler, and his players, at least in this contest, were taking after him.
The game was really stagnant, at least as far as scoring. I caught a dude falling asleep a few rows back from me. He woke up a few minutes later and really didn’t miss a thing.
But alas, a winner had to be found. Turner was a major player. Let’s say he was Robin to Warren’s Batman. And “Batman” displayed some soft touch to get a couple more baskets to fall, but the Canes went on a late 9-0 run full of guts and effort. But it wasn’t quite enough. The Wolfpack eeked out the victory and a spot opposite Syracuse in Friday’s quarterfinal round.
FINAL: NCSU 67 – UM 58
RALEIGH — The No. 19 North Carolina men’s basketball team survived an overtime challenge from N.C. State and T.J. Warren 85-84 to improve to 21-7 on the season and 11-4 in conference play, recording a tenth straight victory Wednesday night at PNC Arena.
***Listen to the story***
With the loss, the Wolfpack fell to 17-11 overall and 7-8 in conference action.
“It was an unbelievable basketball game. I felt like we had the game won and made one of the silliest fouls I’ve ever seen in my life. All of a sudden they have a six-point lead and everybody’s thinking we’ve given it away. All of a sudden, Marcus made a heck of a drive, and we stole one,” UNC Head Coach Roy Williams says.
***Listen to Roy Williams’ postgame remarks***
N.C. State dropped the back-and-forth affair despite Warren’s 36 points, a career high. Battling foul trouble, the Wolfpack star put in a legendary performance that turned into a duel with Carolina’s Marcus Paige in the second half.
The pair went shot-for-shot down the stretch, but it was Paige who got the final opportunity, laying in the basket off the glass with .9 seconds left in the overtime period to grab the win for the Tar Heels.
***Listen to the call by the Tar Heel Sports Network’s Jones Angell***
Remarkably, Paige scored 31 of his 35 points in the second half, helping Carolina win its third straight game when trailing at the half.
The second half was a clean performance for UNC as the Tar Heels only committed a single turnover after halftime.
Other important contributors for the Tar Heels included J.P. Tokoto’s 16 points and Brice Johnson’s 10.
Carolina overcame another rough free throw shooting night, only mustering a 58.1 percent night, knocking down 18-31 while NC State shot at a 61.3 percent clip from the line.
All in all, it was a legendary duel between two of the conference’s most dynamic players, but it was the Tar Heels and Paige who squeaked it out to the disappointment of the rowdy crowd in PNC Arena.
The Tar Heels won the opening tipoff and took the ball right to the rim, drawing an early foul on T.J. Warren just ten seconds into the game. J.P. Tokoto made both free throws.
The Wolfpack were missing early, allowing the Tar Heels to take the 4-0 lead when Kennedy Meeks scored inside with 18 minutes to play in the half.
N.C. State got on the scoreboard thanks to Warren’s make. And he tied the game up soon after with a pair of foul shot conversions. It was 4-4 with 16:41 on the first half clock.
Meeks got to the foul line with a rebound and some nice work inside. But the freshman only made one of two to give UNC the 5-4 edge.
Ralston Turner earned NC State’s first lead of the game with a sharp jumper that fell through the nets on the ensuing possession. With 15:19 left in the half, NC State held the 6-5 advantage.
Tyler Lewis popped a three-pointer to stake the Wolfpack out to the 9-5 lead. Carolina was shooting 1-9 in the half until Brice Johnson broke through with a score that closed the gap down to two points. Another Johnson put away tied the game up at nine points wit 13:03 on the clock.
Warren responded on the other end with a make off the glass that erupted the crowd. It was Paige who got on the board next with a smooth score in transition. With 10:55 to play in the half, the Wolfpack found themselves tied up 13-13 with the visiting Tar Heels.
Desmond Lee banked in a long-range shot that broke the tie in favor of N.C. State, but the Wolfpack committed their fourth team foul that sent Johnson to the line after that. But he missed both attempts.
Turner knocked down a crazy long three-pointer that extended the NC State lead out to 19-13, but Carolina answered with a quick score on the other end as the pace quickened.
Beejay Anya’s physical play earned him a basket and a foul. The Wolfpack led 21-15 with 7:53 remaining in the half.
Anya kept working the ball inside as the Wolfpack continued to maintain momentum late in the second half. They were running away with it, up 26-15 with 6:08 to play in the half.
Tokoto threw in an athletic jam for the Tar Heels off a steal by Paige while the fouls started flowing from Carolina on the defensive end. Anya responded with a rebound and a score to place the scoreboard at 28-17 with 4:25 to play before halftime.
Paige battled his way around the rim and layed the ball through the nets right before a timeout to narrow the gap down to 28-19 wit 3:38 on the first half clock.
Tokoto swished a deep two-pointer to reduce the arrears down to 28-21. The energy and aggression on the defense was amping up for Carolina in the waning minutes of the half.
The free throw shooting woes continued for McAdoo as he continued to throw up poor attempts that rimmed out. Johnson jammed the ball through the nets to cut the NC State lead down to 32-25 with 1:12 to play before halftime.
Cat Barber was hacked and sent to the foul line, calmly knocking down both to push the lead out to 34-26 with seconds to go in the half.
The halftime stat sheet read in favor of the Wolfpack, not surprisingly. Carolina was shooting at a 38.5 percent clip as a team while NC State was knocking down 44.4 percent of its shots.
Warren was leading the scoring charge for the Wolfpack with 10 points while Tokoto put up 8 points to lead the Tar Heels.
Warren worked his way to the foul line to start the scoring proceedings in the second half. He made one of the free throws.
Paige responded with an acrobatic make while drawing a foul. He missed the point after. The Tar Heels got the rebound off the miss and Meeks drew a foul of his own.
With 18:22 to play, the Tar Heels were trailing 35-29.
Turner drew a foul from McDonald and took full advantage at the line, converting on both to extend the Wolfpack lead out to eight.
Paige dished to Meeks for an easy score around the rim. The score stood at 37-32 in favor of NC State with 15:44 to play in the contest.
The Tar Heels cut the lead down to one at 37-36 with 13:30 to play in the game with a Paige mark that quieted the crowd.
Tokoto made it to the free throw line, but failed to make either basket. Barber scored on the other end for NC State while Johnson matched it to keep the Tar Heels within a single point at 39-28 with 12:18 remaining on the clock.
Turner knocked down a shot from the perimter to ignite the crowd and give the Wolfpack the 42-38 advantage with 11:37 to play.
Paige popped a huge three-point shot to close Carolina to within a trio of points midway through the second half, but Warren answered him for NC State. The home Wolfpack were leading 46-43 with 10:09 to play.
McDonald ran the floor for his first points of the game to keep pace with the suuddenly hot shooting Wolfpack, led by Warren.
Jordan Vandenberg knocked down a pair of foul shots to extend the Wolfpack lead out to 52-45 with 8:55 to go.
Paige was to the rescue again with a snipe from behind the arc to keep Carolina in the game, down 52-48. Warren crucially picked up his fourth foul of the game at the 8:01 mark. The lead was trimmed down to one point once again at 52-51.
Tokoto showed off his athleticism with a foray inside that resulted in a score to give UNC a 53-52 edge with 6:39 to play in the contest.
Lee hit a long-range three-pointer to reclaim the lead for the Wolfpack, but Paige responded again with a make of his won to move Carolina back into the pole position.
Vandenberg finished up a missed shot with a high-flying slam to the delight of the PNC Arena crowd. NC State held a 57-56 advantage with 5:03 left on the clock.
It was turning into a back-and-forth affair in the closing minutes of the game as Tokoto edged the Tar Heels back in front with a score out of a timeout.
Vandenberg blocked a Johnson shot and the Wolfpack were trailing 60-59 with just 3:26 to go.
Nate Britt calmly worked his way to the foul line, nailing down both shots to stake Carolina out to a 62-60 lead, but Warren answered for the Wolfpack to make it a tie game at 62-62 with 2:37 to go in the game.
It was Britt he found himself at the foul line yet again. This time, with the same result, netting both.
Warren answered back with a floater that found the nets to tie the game at 64-64 with 1:39 on the clock. The Tar Heels responded with a couple makes by Paige from the foul line. With 1:23 to play, NC State took a timeout down 66-64.
Warren was the answer again with a make to tie the game up at 66. Paige answered with a big three-pointer, but Turner did the same, tying the game at 69 points with seconds remaining.
NC State had a chance with the ball to win the game, but a loose ball was recovered by UNC, and Paige was fouled. He made both attempts to give Carolina the 771-69 advantage with 3.6 ticks remaining.
Warren was fouled on the inbound pass, sending him to the line for two shots to tie the game. He made both, tying the game at 71 points with 1.5 seconds remaining.
Carolina passed the ball to midcourt and took a timeout with .8 seconds left. Paige’s three-point try was no good and the game was sent to overtime.
Entering overtime, both teams had foul trouble with UNC’s McDonald and Johnson with four and NC State’s Anya and Warren with four as well.
It was Warren who drew first blood in the overtime period to the roar of the crowd. And it was Warren who got back to the foul line after a defensive stop for NC State. He made both to give the Wolfpack the 75-71 lead with 3:10 to play in extra minutes.
Warren took the game over and drove inside for a score and a foul to give the home team the 77-71 advantage. Paige made a clutch three-pointer with hands in his face to reduce the deficit down to three points at 77-74 with 2:36 to play.
Turner popped a three-pointer to extend the Wolfpack lead, but the Tar Heels responded with a basket of their own by Johnson. Warren was just proving too much for the Tar Heels on the night, knocking down another jumper.
It was Paige to the rescue again for Carolina, calmly sinking a long bomb in response. NC State was holding an 82-79 advantage with 1:22 left in overtime.
Paige was fouled following a made free throw by Tyler Lewis. He made both to reduce the Wolfpack lead down to two points with 40 seconds remaining in the overtime.
The Tar Heels got the ball back with 36.9 seconds remaining off an NC State turnover. And Carolina tied it up at 83-83.
But a foul was called on the Tar Heels. Warren was sent to the line. He made one to give NC State the 84-83 edge, but it was Paige who had the ball last, kissing a ball off the glass for the incredible victory.
Next up for the Tar Heels is a road game at Virginia Tech on Saturday.
Click here for the game photo gallery.
UNC Head Coach Roy Williams says N.C. State star T.J. Warren presents all sorts of problems for both the Carolina defense and the rest of the ACC.
“He’s really hard to guard. It’s not like he gets out there and they clear the floor and let him go one-on-one or anything. He gets all of it within the offense. He shoots a great percentage. To me, that’s the biggest key,” Coach Williams says.
Even though Carolina held down Warren for a majority of the first half in Carolina’s 84-70 home win against N.C. State on Feb. 1, Coach Williams says there was no way he was pleased with his defense that day.
“I think that our defense is getting better and better. But against State last time, they shot 65 percent against us in the second half. I wasn’t going to be bragging about our defense that day I guarantee it,” Coach Williams says.
Coach Williams says he’s not worried about any NCAA Tournament bracket projections this time of the year. He instructs his team to stay focused and keep playing hard. If they do that, he says “good things can happen”.
“Guys, we just got to play. You just got to play. If you play, it takes care of everything. The only thing I said to you and my team is that we were in a big hole, and they dug themselves out and put us in position. Now some good things can happen,” Coach Williams says.
There are a couple question marks for the N.C. State contest. Kennedy Meeks and Leslie McDonald are both banged up; although both assured reporters they planned on being out on the court with their team.
Coach Williams says he’s unsure about Meeks’ preparedness for the game because so far, his preparation has been restricted to a very different domain from a basketball court: the swimming pool.
“Kennedy didn’t do anything except go swimming. I don’t know how that’s going make him more consistent. Maybe his backstroke will help?” Coach Williams says.
The Tar Heels lead the all-time series against the Wolfpack 149-76 and will be hoping to complete a series sweep Wednesday night.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/tar-heels-7/
With the loss, the Wolfpack dropped to 22-4 overall and 9-3 in conference action.
The Tar Heels handed the Wolfpack their first home defeat of the season at Reynolds Coliseum to complete the season sweep over their rivals.
Diamond DeShields again delivered a world class performance in a hostile environment, leading Carolina with 38 points, a career high for the freshman sensation.
Allisha Gray was also a key player in the victory, scoring 15 of her 18 total points in the second half to hold off some inspired play from the Wolfpack who shot 46 percent from the floor in the second half.
But the Tar Heels were even better, shooting 59 percent after halftime and 55 percent overall in the game.
N.C. State senior Kody Burke led her team with 18 points Sunday.
Next up for the Tar Heels is a road trip up to Charlottesville to face the Virginia Cavaliers on Thursday.
The Wolfpack will be hungry to exact some revenge on the Tar Heels after dropping their game at Carmichael Arena earlier in the season.
A victory for the Tar Heels Sunday would give them a season sweep of their rivals and extend their winning streak against the Wolfpack out to 6 games.
Freshmen Allisha Gray and Diamond DeShields have been starring for Carolina lately. Gray is averaging 21.7 points and 8.7 rebounds over the last three contests while DeShields was a vital reason the Tar Heels came up with the upset at Duke last Monday night.
The game is scheduled to tip at 3:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on 97.9 FM, WCHL and nationally televised on ESPN2.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/acc-clash-set-sunday-tar-heels-face-revenge-minded-wolfpack/
CHAPEL HILL – The UNC men’s basketball team downed N.C. State 84-70 Saturday afternoon in Chapel Hill to even its ACC record at 4-4 and record a third straight victory with a determined defensive effort that stymied N.C. State star T.J. Warren for most of the contest.
***Listen to the story***
MBB NCSU Final WRAP MDO
With the win, UNC Head Coach Roy Williams preserved his perfect record, at 11-0, against N.C. State in the Dean Smith Center. With the loss, the Wolfpack fell to 14-8 overall and 4-5 in conference play.
The Tar Heels set an aggressive tone early with James Michael McAdoo’s physical play inside. And the defensive intensity was ratcheted up by Carolina. The Tar Heels were challenging every shot and recorded 6 blocks.
Carolina’s trips to the free throw line piled up, making more foul shots than N.C. State even attempted, telling the story of their aggressive brand of basketball, taking it to the youthful Wolfpack.
After the game, Coach Williams said he was pleased with the improved foul shooting of his team.
“We were more aggressive and got to the line, and except for James Michael [McAdoo] everybody shot them really, really well,” Coach Williams said.
***Listen to Roy Williams’ postgame press conference***
Leslie McDonald led the way for the Tar Heels with 20 points while N.C. State’s Warren tallied a team-leading 21 points. McAdoo tallied 16 points on the day to provide a balanced attack for Carolina. The Tar Heels shocked the visiting Wolfpack early in the game, jumping out to a quick 18-4 lead and never looked back from there.
“Well, I think it does say something about the kind of kids that we have, no matter if we’re 0-3 or 1-4. Our kids stuck with it and tried to do what we asked them to do every day in practice, they’ve worked hard, and I really believe that we’re getting better as a team,” Coach Williams said.
McAdoo won the opening tipoff for the Tar Heels and wasted no time making his intentions clear. He drove it right inside to pick up a foul.
Warren got to the line on the other end of the floor, but he missed both, showing some early nerves. Meeks netted a pretty fall-away jumper to stake Carolina out to an early 3-0 lead.
Paige came up with an emphatic block that Leslie McDonald turned into points on the other end. The Tar Heels had come to play with the 6-0 advantage.
N.C. State got on the scoreboard on the following possession. But it was the home team with the 7-2 lead with 17:20 to play in the first half.
McDonald threw up an air ball to deflate a little bit of energy out of the jovial Smith Center crowd, and a timeout was called with 15:53 remaining in the first half. The Tar Heels were up 7-2 on the Wolfpack.
After the break, a shot clock violation was enforced on N.C. State thanks in large part to a ferocious block by McAdoo.
Paige drilled in a two-point basket to increase the Tar Heel advantage out to 9-2. And then Paige was fouled on a three-point attempt. He converted on all three of them.
Warren responded with a clean-up score on the other end to close the gap to eight points, but a Tokoto make extended the lead out to 14-4 with 13:15 to play in the half.
Tokoto and Nate Britt tag-teamed a fast break opportunity and Tokoto finished. Carolina had the 18-4 advantage.
Meeks drained a fade away shot yet again to match an easy layup for the Wolfpack. UNC led 20-6 with 11:09 to go in the opening half.
N.C. State’s Cat Barber provided a spike in intensity back to the floor for his team, and he ran the length of the floor for an easy layup to cut the deficit down to ten with 9:10 to play in the first half.
The zone defensive adjustment was stymying the Carolina attack, but McAdoo broke through with a make and opened the floodgates once again. The Tar Heels held the 25-14 advantage with 6:34 on the first half clock.
With 4:54 on the clock, Brice Johnson muscled his shot in the hoop, but Warren scored for N.C. State. The scoreboard read 30-16 in favor of the home Tar Heels with 3:45 to go in the opening half.
Lennard Freeman did some nice work in the paint to close the gap down to 13 points. Paige answered immediately with a score to extend the margin back out to 15.
Tokoto’s impressive performance continued as he swished a shot from behind the arc t hand UNC the 38-21 advantage.
At the half, Carolina was out to a dominant 40-23 lead. UNC was shooting at a 42.4 percent clip as a team while N.C. State was shooting a mere 25 percent from the floor at the halfway point.
Paige was leading the Tar Heels in scoring with 11 points. Warren led the way for the Wolfpack with eight points.
McAdoo slammed one home to give UNC the 47-27 second half lead with under 18 minutes to play in the contest.
Barber nailed down a timely bucket to get the Wolfpack within 16 points at 49-33 with 15:35 remaining in the game.
Meeks responded by battling in the paint, eventually picking up the foul. The freshman made both.
Desmond Lee found a lane to the rim and took it, decreasing the Tar Heel advantage down to 53-37 with 13:27 to play.
Johnson responded with a beautiful jumper to hold off the Wolfpack momentum at the moment.
The momentum was definitely beginning to turn in favor of the visiting N.C. State squad. The Wolfpack were playing much more aggressively and simplifying the game plan to attack the basket.
Britt ran the floor and slid the ball through the nets to halt the N.C. State charge. McDonald followed his lead with a make that caused Wolfpack Head Coach Mark Gottfried to call timeout with 10:20 left on the clock. Tar Heels maintained a 59-42 advantage.
McAdoo and Johnson stepped up to provide more spark for the Carolina attack. The Tar Heel faithful rose to their feet.
It was all one-way traffic with under eight minutes to play. McDonald’s confidence in his shot was growing as he knocked down another deep try. Carolina held the 68-46 lead.
Lee was handling the bulk of the load for the Wolfpack, trying to keep N.C. State in the contest, but the physicality of Carolina was noticeable as McAdoo earned another trip to the line.
Warren started to sink all his shots at the close of the game, but it was a case of too little too late for N.C. State.
It was UNC that walked out of the game with a coveted victory to sink its teeth back into the ACC and NCAA race.
Click here for game photo gallery.
***Listen to the story***
First pitch at newly renovated Durham Bulls Athletic Park is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the head coaches are both hoping for a little shorter game than last time the two clubs met at the ballpark – an 18-inning nail biter survived by the Tar Heels.
NC State Head Coach Elliott Avent says the rivalry means a lot to both schools, especially the players.
“It’s kind of a dead-even series that goes back and forth. It’s just a lot of fun. It’s fun for the players. They play against each other all the time in AAU, summers, and they know each other. It’s special to them,” Coach Avent says.
The aforementioned marathon baseball game checked in as the longest game in ACC Tournament history and drew 11,392 fans to the ballpark, marking the largest crowd ever to watch a college baseball game in the state of North Carolina.
UNC Head Coach Mike Fox says his program and the rest of the ACC is very fortunate to have such a storied venue like the Bulls ballpark to host games like this one.
“We’re very lucky in this area to have great college programs, but also to have this ballpark sitting right here at our disposal. The Durham Bulls have always been accommodating to us and our league and our programs,” Coach Fox says.
Due to odd scheduling conflicts, the Tar Heels were in danger of not meeting the Wolfpack at all in 2014, but Coach Avent says it would have been extremely disappointing for the two rivals not to square off on the diamond.
“It would be tragic probably; not tragic, but disappointing if the two teams didn’t play, especially after last year. So I called Mike and we were able to work it out,” Coach Avent says.
Coach Fox says the Tar Heels have been having some trouble navigating the crazy weather patterns thus far in the preseason training, but nonetheless, he says it’s an exciting time of the year.
“We’ve had our players back a week, and we’ve had a 25-degree day, a 50- degree day, a 70-degree day and a tornado. We’ve put the tarp on four times already. Right now, it’s just can we find a window to get out and get some work done? But it’s an exciting time now trying to put your team together a little bit,” Coach Fox says.
The Tar Heel baseball team gets its season underway Fri, Feb. 14 when it hosts College of Charleston at Boshamer Stadium.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/duel-dbap-tar-heels-will-face-rival-n-c-state-april-15/
***Listen to the recap***
With the loss, the Wolfpack fell to 14-2 on the season and 1-1 in conference.
After a sluggish start that saw the Tar Heels fall behind 7-0 quickly, UNC responded in fine fashion thanks to the steady play of Diamond DeShields, who finished team leader in points with 21, and the powerful inside force of Stephanie Mavunga.
The Tar Heel defense also stiffened with clutch rebounding and aggressive coverage of its own.
Carolina shot above fifty percent overall on the night as a team while N.C. State struggled, going through significant scoring droughts.
N.C. State opened up with the first points of the contest when Len’Nique Brown darted in a three-pointer. And some sharp shooting continued for the Wolfpack to get out to an early 7-0 lead.
But UNC’s Xylina McDaniel broke the scoring drought for the Tar Heels with a beautiful play. And McDaniel fought her way inside for a physical make that got UNC within five at 9-4 with 15:50 remaining in the half.
Markeisha Gatling powered her way inside to an easy layup to stake the visiting squad dressed in red out to a 13-4 advantage with 14:24 left in the half.
Allisha Gray responded nicely with a three-point basket of her own to help Carolina’s cause while Diamond DeShields heard her name called by the announcer when she fitted the ball through the nets.
But the hot shooting continued for the Wolfpack. So much so, Associate Head Coach Andrew Calder called a timeout with 12:42 on the clock and his team trailing 19-9.
Tar Heel N’Dea Bryant hit a long-range two-pointer to close the gap down to 19-13, but a steal was converted for a score by Wolfpack player Myisha Coleman to counter act it.
Bryant was heating up and providing a nice spark for the Tar Heels when the Wolfpack called timeout with 8:57 to play. UNC was within a pair of points now with the score at 21-19.
A three-point play by NCSU’s Kody Burke came at the 7:40 mark in the first half, and the tempo was picking up as DeShields sniped down a jumper on the other end. The score stood at 24-21 Wolfpack with 7:10 to play in the opening half.
Stephanie Mavunga tied the game up at 26 with a layup with just under 5 minutes to play.
DeShields ran the full length of the floor off a takeaway and converted to the delight of the Carmichael crowd. A media timeout was called with 3:44 to play in the first half. The Tar Heels had earned a 32-26 lead.
The Tar Heel defense was beginning to stiffen, grabbing key rebounds and playing aggressively. Meanwhile DeShields and Mavunga continued their electrifying play on the offensive end to help UNC seize control of the game heading into the locker room.
At the half, it was North Carolina leading N.C. State 45-29.
Carolina was shooting an impressive 58.1 percent from the floor in the opening half while NC State was shooting at a 39 percent clip.
The leading scorer for the Tar Heels was Diamond DeShields with 14 points.
The start of the second half led to some sharp shooting for the Wolfpack. In under a minute, NC State had managed to trim UNC’s lead down to 45-35.
Jessica Washington knocked down an outside shot behind the arc to score UNC’s first points of the second half. DeShields followed with a score of her own. UNC led 50-38 with 18:20 to play in the contest.
The Wolfpack continued to take advantage of their scoring opportunities, but a turnover was converted for points by Gray to steady UNC and give the Tar Heels a 56-44 lead with 14:12 to play.
With 11:32 to play, timeout was called. Carolina maintained a comfortable 60-44 lead.
Miah Spencer of the Wolfpack closed the margin down to 12 points with 9:48 to play with a running layup.
A nice pass to Brittany Rountree from DeShields resulted in a scoring play to up the advantage back up to 14 points.
A technical foul was called on NC State Head Coach Wes Moore, and that helped Carolina increase its lead even further.
A Wolfpack timeout was called with 4:58 to play. Carolina led 69-57, holding steady.
But N.C. State kept fighting as Gatling fought her way to the foul line, making both of the free throws to close within five points with under three minutes to go.
In the end, UNC made its free throws down the stretch and held on for the victory over its in-state rival.
You can view the complete game box score here.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/thursday-takedown-tar-heel-women-beat-wolfpack/
CHAPEL HILL– The No. 13 Tar Heel women’s basketball team, sitting at 12-3 on the season and 0-1 in conference, will face No. 20 N.C. State, sporting a 14-1 overall record and 1-0 mark in the ACC, Thursday at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill.
For the first time in seven years, both schools will have a top 25 ranking beside their names when they face off on “Throwback Thursday” at 6:00 p.m. Throwback Thursday is a push to get more fans at the game with half-price concessions, old school music with a live DJ, and free t-shirts for UNC students.
Associate Head Coach Andrew Calder says although the Tar Heels suffered a disappointing setback against Maryland Sunday, he was happy with the rebounding efforts.
“We do like the fact that we won the boards over Maryland. There aren’t a lot of teams that do that,” Coach Calder says.
Freshman forward Stephanie Mavunga says she needs to focus more on her shots and stay composed in the games.
“I learned that I need to take my time. I get the ball, and I missed six shots. My teammates do a good job of passing to me in the right situations, so I don’t really have an excuse. I just need to take my time to make sure that I’m focusing on the shot,” Mavunga says.
Carolina has won eight of the last nine contests in Chapel Hill against the Wolfpack. But N.C.State is coming off an impressive victory over No. 20 Syracuse Sunday.
Tune in to WCHL at 6:00 p.m. to hear the call of the game between the Tar Heels and Wolfpack.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/throwback-thursday-13-tar-heel-women-host-20-wolfpack/