No. 14 North Carolina 93, W. Carolina 36

North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell was pleased with her team’s

defensive effort.

Italee Lucas scored 16 points and Chay Shegog added 14 to help

No. 14 North Carolina rout Western Carolina 93-36 on Sunday.

UNC jumped out to a 10-0 lead to start the game, added an 11-0

run midway through the half, and then finished on a 15-0 sprint

while taking a 47-17 halftime lead en route to the victory.

”Lots of teams (Western Carolina) has played, they played

better, including some ACC teams,” North Carolina coach Sylvia

Hatchell said. ”So I hope our defense is that good. I hope we can

keep holding people down.”

The Catamounts couldn’t match the Tar Heels’ ability to turn

size and speed into aggressiveness and points. UNC held Western

Carolina to 26 percent shooting in the game.

”Their size and length it’s not something with see a lot of in

the (Southern Conference),” Western Carolina coach Karen Middleton

said. ”One thing we’ve been trying to do is spread the floor and

get (our shooters) on the move. But as everyone knows, you can’t

rely on 3-pointers.”

UNC has beaten its four opponents by an average of 52.8 points

but should see tougher challenges in the Rainbow Wahine Showdown in

Honolulu. UNC meets Washington State in the opening round on

Friday.

The Tar Heels want to keep the pace brisk.

”I guess you can say we can always go faster,” DeGraffenreid

said. ”The teams we face in Hawaii will push us faster so maybe

we’ll put more points up.”

UNC has won the tournament twice, last winning it in 2006, the

last time it played there.

Hatchell gave a clear response when asked about the team’s next

goal.

”Win the tournament,” Hatchell said. ”That’s what I told them

in the locker room.”

Laura Sanchez and Caitlin Hollifield scored eight points each to

lead Western Carolina.

The Catamounts hit three 3s after going down 10-0 to start, but

paid the price when long misses began turning into quick UNC

buckets on the other end. UNC outrebounded Western Carolina 42 to

31.

UNC guard Cetera DeGraffenreid made sure the Tar Heels caused

disruption. She made six steals while UNC was turning 17 first-half

miscues into 24 first-half points. She finished with seven steals,

eight assists and seven points.

Western Carolina senior Emily Clarke passed the 1,000-point mark

with the Catamounts’ first bucket, a 3-pointer for 1,001 total, at

the 14:44 mark of the first half.

”I’m really happy for her and the career she is having,”

Middleton said of Clarke. ”We rely on her a lot.”

Western Carolina has a week off before opening its conference

schedule against Samford on November 29.