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WOMEN Tar Heels rally, get 20th win



Published: Tue, February 11, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



No. 7-ranked North Carolina climbed out of a 10-point halftime hole to beat North Carolina State.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Despite their worst shooting performance of the season, seventh-ranked North Carolina overcame a 10-point second-half deficit to beat North Carolina State 66-63 Friday night.

North Carolina made just 23 of 66 shots overall, a 35-percent effort. But the team's performance didn't exactly put coach Sylvia Hatchell in a foul mood.

"When you shoot your season low and still win, you've got to be happy," she said. "That was because of our rebounding."

North Carolina, the top rebounding team in the ACC and second in the country, dominated the boards with a 28-17 advantage in the first half and a 50-37 margin overall.

The leaders

Coretta Brown and La'Tangela Atkinson scored 14 points each to lead the Tar Heels (20-2, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who have won five straight. Leah Metcalf, who stole a pass and converted a three-point play with 57.2 seconds left, had 13 points.

Amelia Labador had a career-high 20 points for N.C. State (9-12, 4-6), which has lost four in a row. Carisse Moody added 14.

"It was a tough game to lose," said N.C. State coach Kay Yow, honored after the game for her induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. "We had a lot of leads in this game and it came down to the stretch and we just couldn't quite finish it off."

North Carolina tied the game in the final two minutes on consecutive baskets by Atkinson. She was fouled on a backdoor cut and completed the three-point play to get the Tar Heels to 63-61.

Then she went the length of the floor for another layup to tie the game with 1:40 left.

The Wolfpack were trying to set up the go-ahead basket in the final minute when Metcalf stole Terah James' pass and made a layup. The free throw was the final point of the game.




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