Women's Basketball ACCtion: Monday, February 25
Feb. 25, 2008
Erlana Larkins scored 18 points and No. 2 North Carolina clinched a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference title by beating North Carolina State 85-79 on Monday night.
Jessica Breland and Rashanda McCants each added 16 points for the Tar Heels (26-2, 13-0), who went ahead to stay by outscoring N.C. State 20-10 during a 7-minute stretch that bridged halftime and withstood a late Wolfpack charge to secure their ninth straight victory.
Shayla Fields scored a career-high 26 points for the Wolfpack (17-10, 5-7), who at one point in the second half had as many turnovers (17) as they did field goals.
Khadijah Whittington added 12 of her 18 points after halftime and Nikitta Gartrell finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds for N.C. State, which rallied from a late 16-point deficit and made things interesting down the stretch.
The Wolfpack twice closed within five points in the final minutes, the last coming when Fields' 3-pointer from the key made it 84-79 with 20.9 seconds remaining. Heather Claytor made a free throw 2.9 seconds later, and the Tar Heels came up with two final defensive stops to seal it.
Pringle finished with 14 points for the Tar Heels, who overcame some horrible free-throw shooting and a rare rebounding disadvantage to wrap up either at least a share of the ACC title for the fourth time in school history and third time in four seasons.