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Photo of Diamond DeShields courtesy of Jeffrey Camarati, North Carolina Athletics
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Freshman Diamond DeShields had 24 points and a season-high 12 rebounds to help North Carolina beat Michigan State 62-53 on Tuesday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Fellow rookie Allisha Gray added 10 points for the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (26-9), who led by nine at halftime and then dominated the opening minutes of the second half to turn the game into a rout. North Carolina ran off 14 straight points to blow the game open, with DeShields scoring twice during that flurry to build a 57-31 lead with 11 1/2 minutes left that allowed the Tar Heels to coast to the Stanford Regional's round of 16.
The Tar Heels pressured the fifth-seeded Spartans (23-10) and turned the game into the up-and-down pace they wanted. They finished with a 17-4 edge in fast-break points and 15 points off turnovers in a huge improvement from their first-round struggles against UT Martin.
DeShields didn't look nervous Tuesday night, finishing 9-for-17 from the field in 35 minutes. She also set the ACC single-season freshman scoring record, blowing past Georgia Tech's Kaela Davis, who ended year with 594 points.
North Carolina shot 37 percent and cooled off after building its huge lead, while Michigan State finished the game shooting 32 percent.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The fourth-seeded Maryland women’s basketball team advanced to its third straight Sweet Sixteen Tuesday with a 69-64 win over fifth-seeded Texas at Comcast Center.
The Terrapins (26-6) have been to six Sweet Sixteens in head coach Brenda Frese’s 12 years at Maryland and 11 overall. With the win, they advance to play top-seeded Tennessee (29-5) Sunday in Louisville, Ky.
Senior Alyssa Thomas led the Terrapins with her 26th double-double of the year with 16 points, all in the second half, and 11 rebounds. Alicia DeVaughn added 12 points, while Laurin Mincy and Lexie Brown each had 10.
In a game that featured 15 lead changes and was tied seven times, Texas (22-12) rallied from an 11-point deficit to get within 65-64 with 43 seconds left. After Longhorns senior Chassidy Fussell missed a 3-point try, Mincy made two free throws for a three-point lead.
Nekia Jones then bounced a 3-point try off the rim for Texas, and Thomas clinched the victory by sinking two foul shots with 8 seconds to go.