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James Madison edged by No. 10 UNC women, 74-71

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP)

After its latest close call, James Madison has grown tired of moral victories.

The Dukes pushed No. 10 North Carolina before losing 74-71 on Tuesday.

''We're probably about three possessions from being 13-1 right now,'' coach Kenny Brooks said about James Madison (10-4), which lost to Wright State by two points and to Vanderbilt in overtime.

Precious Hall finished with 18 points, Kirby Burkholder had 16 and Toia Giggetts had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Dukes.

''We feel like we should have won this game,'' forward Nikki Newman said.

James Madison trailed by 13 with 14 minutes remaining before pulling with three points on Giggetts' layup with about 1:15 left.

North Carolina missed two 3-pointers - including one from Latifah Coleman that was blocked by Giggetts - before being called for a shot-clock violation with 9.3 seconds left.

Angela Mickens took the inbounds pass and dumped it off for Burkholder, whose off-balance 3-pointer with a second left didn't draw iron. Giggetts missed a putback at the buzzer.

Brooks said Mickens ''gave up on the play'' and Burkholder was ''a decoy.''

''(Mickens) was supposed to dribble and go full-speed - almost do a jump-out-of-bounds pass,'' Brooks said. ''We really didn't get anything close to what we wanted.''

Xylina McDaniel scored 19 points, Coleman added 14 points and Stephanie Mavunga had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Tar Heels (12-2).

They wrapped up their nonconference schedule win their seventh straight. Next up: A visit from No. 8 Maryland on Sunday in the conference opener.

With Hall of Fame coach Sylvia Hatchell watching from a high sideline platform, North Carolina shot 45.6 percent and let most of a 13-point lead disappear before coming up with the defensive stop they needed.

Hatchell has been out all season while she receives treatment for leukemia.

''I think they're very prepared,'' interim coach Andrew Calder said. ''Obviously, it was tough at the beginning with the Coach Hatchell situation, but they're playing for her and they're playing for themselves. ... The schedule has helped prepare us for the ACC.''

Allisha Gray added 11 points for North Carolina, which played without starting guard Diamond DeShields because of a left hand injury. DeShields, who averages 15 points, was in uniform but Calder said she ''was not going to play from the beginning'' but is expected to go against the Terrapins.

North Carolina hasn't scored fewer than 74 points since its 81-65 loss to then-No. 4 Tennessee on Nov. 11.

The Tar Heels were averaging more than 100 points during their last four games after reaching that mark three times during that span - including a school-record 124-point performance Dec. 16 against New Orleans.

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Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joedyap

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