2:00 PM ET, December 28, 2004
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Freshman Erlana Larkins put on another strong performance for North Carolina (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today; No. 7 AP) on Tuesday.Larkins matched her career high with 22 points and had 10 rebounds for her first double-double in the Tar Heels' 91-45 win over Lipscomb. Larkins shot 11-for-16 and had six steals, helping the Tar Heels (10-1) to their third straight win. "She's just a coach's dream," North Carolina's Sylvia Hatchell said. "She plays hard all the time, and she's so coachable. She just gets an A-plus all-around." LaToya Pringle came off the bench to add 14 points, while Nikita Bell had 13 points and six steals. North Carolina shot 49 percent, led 40-24 at halftime, and was never in danger. Lipscomb (5-3) had more turnovers (33) than field goals (17) or rebounds (23). Playing for the first time after a nine-day break, North Carolina missed six of its first seven shots and led just 16-11 midway through the first half. The Tar Heels shot 51 percent after halftime to win going away. North Carolina outrebounded the Lady Bison 48-23 for the game, including 29-6 after halftime. "We started off sluggish, but we got it going in the second half," Hatchell said. Larkins scored the Tar Heels' first three baskets and hit eight of her first 11 shots to get 16 points in the first half. "I don't care about the box score much or what it contains," Larkins said. "What I'm more concerned about is that we play together as a team." Lipscomb's 37 percent shooting was a season-low by a North Carolina opponent. Courtney Boynton scored 11 points, just three in the second half, for Lipscomb. Penny Jones added 10. "We had some good possessions and our team competed well at times," Coach Frank Bennett said. "With their size and quickness, they were going to force us to play perfectly to win possessions." North Carolina captain Leah Metcalf, who leads the team in assists at 4.7 per game, missed her third straight game to rest a sore right foot. She is expected to play Thursday against Old Dominion.