CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Ivory Latta wasn't able to avoid a
couple of quick peeks at the crowd and North Carolina point guard
She might have finally one-upped her friendly rival with a
dazzling performance Thursday, scoring 19 of her 24 points in the
second half to help North Carolina (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today; No. 7 AP) beat Old Dominion 79-55.
Latta wants to surpass Felton's school record for 18 assists in
a game set last season.
"I'm going to try to get him with those 18 assists," she said
with a smile.
Erlana Larkins added 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Tar Heels
(11-1), who won their fourth in a row after a loss at Penn State.
For the first time this season, Larkins failed to make at least
half of her shots and finished 5-for-11.
She came in shooting a nation-leading 71 percent from the field.
"I think I was just rushing my shots," Larkins said. "I just
felt like I missed a lot of easy shots."
The game was moved to the Dean E. Smith Center because several
game day staff were in Charlotte, N.C., for North Carolina's
appearance in the Continental Tire Bowl. Felton and the men's team
played later against Cleveland State.
A sparse but enthusiastic crowd of 1,112 took advantage of free
admission and free parking to watch the Tar Heels avenge a 73-68
loss to the Lady Monarchs last season.
"Our goal was to outrebound them, because they had outrebounded
all of their opponents this season,
North Carolina coach Sylvia
Hatchell said. "We accomplished that, especially with Erlana
getting 14. I thought that was a good team effort."
The rematch wasn't nearly as close, mostly thanks to Latta. She
made five consecutive shots during a five-minute stretch of the
second half to help North Carolina take control.
Latta made a jumper, added a 3-pointer, then drove in for a
layup after a nifty pass from Nikita Bell. Later, Latta got fouled
on a 3 and converted all three free throws before connecting again
from long range to make it 58-35.
"Really, coming out, I wasn't really thinking about shooting,"
Latta said. "Coach just told me to keep putting pressure on the
She left for a rest after her personal run of 16 points in eight
minutes, but the damage already was done. Old Dominion (4-4) never
got closer and still is looking for its first road victory of the
season to complement a 21-game home winning streak.
Tiffany Green led the Monarchs with 19 points and 11 rebounds,
and leading scorer Shareese Grant finished with only six, more than
12 off her average. She fouled out with about five minutes left.
"The pressure was tough," Grant said. "Before every game, I
know every team is going to come out and do that. We've got to look
forward to it. We didn't handle it very well."
The Tar Heels led by only seven after a sloppy first half during
which the teams combined for 29 turnovers. It didn't get much
better for the Monarchs after the break. After making only 29
percent of their shots in the opening 20 minutes, they shot 30
percent and had another 12 turnovers.
"You're not going to beat a lot of teams with 28 turnovers and
shooting 30 percent, let alone Carolina," Old Dominion coach Wendy
Larry said. "They've just got tremendous athletic ability."