CONWAY, S.C. (AP) Jamie Cherry scored a career-high 32 points and Taylor Koenen notched her first double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds as North Carolina upended Pitt 72-60 in the opening round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday night.
It was the first time North Carolina has beaten Pitt in their last three meetings, including the ACC Tourney’s first round last season. The Tar Heels (15-15) advance to meet No. 6 seed Syracuse (20-9) and ACC Player of the Year Alexis Peterson on Thursday.
Cherry scored 14 points in the first quarter and made 9 of 18 field goals, including five 3-pointers. She was 9 of 12 at the foul line. Koenen had a big hand in North Carolina’s 38-30 advantage in rebounds, the first time the Tar Heels have outrebounded an opponent since Jan. 8.
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North Carolina trailed 41-37 at halftime, but erupted with a 22-point third quarter that started with back-to-back treys from Koenen and Cherry to retake the lead and go up 10 by the start of the final period.
Kauai Bradley led Pitt (13-17) with 12 points and five assists. Brenna Wise and Kalista Walters added 11 each, but the Panthers were whistled for 19 fouls and North Carolina scored on 15 of 20 free throws. Pitt was 2 of 6 at the line.