No. 12 North Carolina women beat UCLA 78-68

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

court.

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

other.