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N. Carolina sinks Terps, 78-63; UM women put up battle, but Tar Heels too tough


COLLEGE PARK -- Eager to prevent a repeat of last year's embarrassment at Cole Field House, the No. 14 North Carolina women's basketball team used a 13-4 run in the second half to hand Maryland a 78-63 loss last night in front of a season-high crowd of 2,817.

Nikki Teasley (St. John's Prospect Hall) had 19 points and seven assists to lead the Tar Heels (23-5, 10-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who bounced back from a home loss to N.C. State on Sunday.

The win over the Terps (5-18, 2-11) lifted the Tar Heels to within a half-game of Virginia for second place in the league.

Without Chanel Wright (Western High), who was out with a knee injury, North Carolina was scraping by with a 53-48 lead with 12: 32 left after a jumper by Maryland's Ginji Perry.

That's when, making a familiar about-face, the Tar Heels regained the shooting touch that had been missing since they took an early 12-2 lead.

Four players scored 13 points over a three-minute span, including a combined nine for Teasley and Jackie Higgins, to give North Carolina a 66-52 lead with 9: 14 left to go.

"We've played well and we've played so-so," North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell said. "We've lost games we shouldn't have, but we showed out there tonight the potential that we have."

While Hatchell's team needed to right itself, there was also a revenge factor. Last season, it came into College Park with a No. 7 ranking, came out flat and left with a 22-point pasting.

"We talked about it in the locker room before we came out; how they outplayed us," said Hatchell, whose team had four players in double figures last night, including Juana Brown with 11 and Yanick Clay with 10.

For the first five minutes, the Tar Heels looked like a team with something to prove, going up 15-4 on a LaQuanda Barksdale three-pointer with 15: 11 remaining in the first half.

The Terps, however, showed a resilience that was not present on Jan. 10 when North Carolina used an 11-0 run to fuel an 87-58 thrashing in Chapel Hill.

Kelley Gibson, in her final game against the Tar Heels, scored 12 first-half points on the way to a team-high 15, including a three-pointer that tied the game at 23 with 6: 14 left.

A pair of free throws by Tiffany Brown gave Maryland a 32-31 lead, and though that advantage was short-lived and the Terps went into halftime down 40-37, Maryland coach Chris Weller was encouraged as Marche Strickland had 13 points and Deedee Warley 10.

"We felt good at the half," Weller said. "They could have beaten us by 60 down there. At least this time, we gave them a game, but during that [13-4] stretch, we got reckless."

Wright, in her final trip to Cole Field House, could have played. But Hatchell said that while she considered inserting her at various times, she was only about 80 percent healthy, with the Duke game coming up on Sunday.

"I knew that if I put her in there, we were going to have to play zone," Hatchell said. "I didn't want to chance it, with her being able to play on Sunday."

NORTH CAROLINA -- Clay 2-7 6-8 10, Teasley 6-14 4-7 19, Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Gaspar 3-3 0-0 6, J.Brown 4-10 2-2 11, Higgins 7-13 2-2 16, Allen 0-0 0-0 0, Sharp 0-0 0-0 0, Dawkins 1-3 0-2 2, Barksdale 6-14 0-0 14. Totals 29-64 14-21 78.

MARYLAND -- Warley 3-8 4-4 10, Gibson 5-15 2-2 15, Bogunovic 2-5 0-0 4, T.Brown 1-9 2-2 4, Strickland 5-7 2-2 13, Perry 2-4 3-4 7, Gabriel 0-0 2-4 2, Ferris 4-5 0-0 8. Totals 22-53 15-18 63.

Halftime--UNC, 40-37. 3-point goals--UNC 6-12 (Teasley 3-5, Barksdale 2-2, J.Brown 1-4, Clay 0-1); Md 4-13 (Gibson 3-8, Strickland 1-1, Brown 0-4). Rebounds--UNC 34 (Clay 8); Md 37 (Brown 7). Assists--UNC 17 (Teasley 7); Md 12 (Brown 5). Total fouls--UNC 21, Md 13. A--2,817.

Pub Date: 2/12/99

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