CHAPEL HILL – The No. 10 UNC women’s basketball team saw one final challenge before ACC play begins Sunday as the Tar Heels snuck past the James Madison Dukes Thursday afternoon, 74-71.

UNC had to make its first five shots to hold the early lead and took it into the first media timeout, 15-11. James Madison didn’t go away, either. The Dukes were hot from behind the three-point arc early shooting 4-6 in the first eight-plus minutes.

However, the three-point shots went cold from that point as JMU only hit one of the next 16 from behind the arc. UNC also went on a couple runs to end the first half up six, 44-38.

***Listen to the Call by Walter Storholt of the Tar Heel Sports Network***

Entering the game, Carolina was 11-1 when leading at the half.

Play got chippy in the opening minutes of the second half. Eleven team fouls were called between the two teams before the first media timeout.

The Dukes never went away. The Tar Heels’ largest lead was 13, but with less than a minute to play, JMU brought it back to within three.

***Listen to the Call by Walter Storholt of the Tar Heel Sports Network***

Xylina McDaniel led all players with 19 points. Stephanie Mavunga scored a double-double with ten points and ten rebounds.

Thursday’s final was only the second game in the last five in which UNC did not score in triple digits.

With the win, Carolina improved to 12-2 on the season; James Madison fell to 10-4.

The Tar Heels begin ACC play Sunday at 3:00 p.m. against the Maryland Terrapins in Carmichael Arena.

UNC Head Coach, Sylvia Hatchell–on hiatus as she’s recovering from treatment of leukemia–was once again in attendance. She has said she’s trying to return to coaching before the end of the season.