Allisha Gray had a career-high 30 points and 10 rebounds off the
bench, and No. 12 North Carolina repelled runs in both halves to
beat UCLA 78-68 Sunday.
The freshman made six 3-pointers to help the foul-plagued Tar
Heels (2-1), who lost Brittany Rountree after she got hurt early in
the second half. Rountree had three fouls, and fellow starters
Diamond DeShields and Xylina McDaniel had four. Stephanie Mavunga
fouled out with nine points.
North Carolina traveled across the country to earn its first win
in Los Angeles, where the Tar Heels had been 0-2. They tied the
all-time series 4-4. Jessica Washington added 16 points and
McDaniel scored 13.
Thea Lemberger scored 19 points for the Bruins (1-2), who lost
to their second ranked opponent. They opened the season with a
28-point loss to then-No. 17 Nebraska on the road. Antonye Nyingifa
had 18 points and 11 rebounds, Nirra Fields had 12 points and 10
rebounds, and Lauren Holiday had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
UCLA tied the game once in both halves, but could never grab the
lead. Nyingifa scored the Bruins’ first six points of the second
half, tying it at 36-all on a jumper in the paint.
Gray answered with the first of her three straight 3-pointers
that launched the Tar Heels on a 16-2 run and extended their lead
to 52-38. Gray is part of a freshmen class ranked No. 1 nationally,
and she’s led her team in scoring in each of their three games. Her
3-pointers and 8 of 8 shooting from the line were career bests
despite four fouls.
The Tar Heels built their lead to 19 points three times, the
last at 66-47 on a basket by Mavunga, her last before fouling out
with 4:33 to play.
Rountree went down while scrambling for the ball just before the
Tar Heels’ big run. She cried out in pain and eventually lay on the
floor while a trainer and interim coach Andrew Calder looked on.
Rountree was helped off the court and later returned to sit on the
bench holding an ice pack to her forehead.
Calder is leading the Tar Heels while Hall of Fame coach Sylvia
Hatchell is treated for leukemia.
The Tar Heels hit consecutive 3-pointers to open the game in
building an 18-11 lead. The Bruins outscored them 8-2 to tie it up
19-all on a free throw by Holiday after she fell hard to the
From there, the Tar Heels closed on a 15-11 spurt to lead 34-30
at the break. Down by 11 during that span, the Bruins scored seven
straight points to end the half.
The Bruins are without key players Kari Korver and Kacy Swain
for the season after both tore ACLs within a week of each