No. 13 North Carolina 60, Clemson 47

BY foxsports • February 11, 2011

North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell's voice was loud, her tone harsh and her message clear: This was not a victory to celebrate.

Not after the No. 13 Tar Heels left Littlejohn Coliseum with a 60-47 win Thursday night.

''That was about all we got out of it, though,'' Hatchell said.

Three days after the Tar Heels' rousing 62-60 win over No. 5 Duke, Hatchell watched her club fumble around the ball for a season-high 27 turnovers and finish with their second-fewest points in a game this season.

''The last two days, everybody's been telling them how great they were, celebrating the Duke win,'' Hatchell said.

That wasn't Hatchell's message in a loud postgame chat that continued nearly 30 minutes after the game ended.

Asked what Hatchell's next practice might bring, junior Laura Broomfield simply answered: ''Running, lots of running.''

Italee Lucas scored 15 points, while Broomfield and Jessice Breland both posted double-double performances for North Carolina (22-3, 8-2 Atlantic Coast Conference). Still, it was the Tar Heels' 16th straight victory over Clemson and kept them in the race for the ACC title.

North Carolina finished under 40 percent shooting and was held more than 20 points below its average. It was the fewest points the Tar Heels scored in a win since a 60-51 victory over Notre Dame in the 2007 NCAA tournament.

And yet, none of the errors cost them against struggling Clemson (10-15, 3-7), which lost its 52nd straight contest against a ranked opponent.

''Normally, we don't make as many mistakes as we made tonight,'' Lucas said. ''We had two tough games in the past four days. We have to get our bodies, our minds back into the swing of things.''

Broomfield had 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Breland had 10 points and 11 rebounds. It was Broomfield's fifth double-double of the season and Breland's third.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt also had 11 boards for the Tar Heels, who outrebounded Clemson 58-34. Breland finished with 10 points for her double-double.

Sthefany Thomas led the Lady Tigers with 13 points. However, she was 5 of 18 overall and 3 of 13 on 3-pointers against North Carolina's defense.

For North Carolina, things don't get much better than a win over Triangle rival Duke. Plus, the Tar Heels have a key ACC contest with No. 20 Miami on Sunday, so maybe this letdown was expected.

Hatchell said the team had a strong shootaround earlier Thursday and thought it might handle the recent success well. Instead, the longtime coach quickly discovered it wouldn't.

The Tar Heels had nine turnovers less than 8 minutes in and had trouble breaking free from the Tigers. When Kirstyn Wright hit a 3-pointer with 13:29 to go in the half, Clemson led 10-8.

But North Carolina kicked into gear with a 20-7 run over the next 10 minutes to take charge.

Broomfield had an two inside baskets and a three-point play. Lucas added a jumper and a 3-pointer. When She'la White knocked down a jumper, the Tar Heels were ahead 28-17 and cruising.

Clemson struggled to keep pace. The Lady Tigers shot just 27 percent in the first half (10 of 37) and were outrebounded by the bigger Tar Heels 30-19.

Clemson was probably glad to be within 35-25 at the half. Two weeks ago at Duke, the Lady Tigers trailed 59-12 at the half on the way to 92-37 loss.

North Carolina used a 9-4 run at the start of the second half to lead 44-29 and figured to build on that. Instead, the Tar Heels lost their rhythm and were held to 25 points in the second half.

The Lady Tigers got as close as 53-44 with 6 minutes left, but could not reel in North Carolina.

First-year Clemson coach Itoro Coleman was pleased with her team's defensive effort. But, she had no explanation for her team's 17-for-58 (29.3 percent) shooting performance.

''With that defense you give yourself a chance, but we couldn't buy a basket,'' said Coleman, the former Clemson star guard who had four victories over North Carolina when she played from 1996-99.