RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina controlled the interior when
it mattered most to give coach Sylvia Hatchell a milestone victory
Erlana Larkins had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead the
fourth-ranked Tar Heels past North Carolina State (unranked ESPN/USA Today; No. 25 AP) 65-53,
making Hatchell just the fifth Division I coach to reach 700 wins.
Camille Little added 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Tar Heels
(16-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who have won nine of the
last 10 against the Wolfpack (11-5, 2-2).
Hatchell improved to 700-266 in her 31 seasons, including
428-186 with a national championship in 20 years at North Carolina.
She joined Tennessee's Pat Summitt, Texas' Jody Conradt, Rutgers'
C. Vivian Stringer and LSU's Sue Gunter as the only D-I coaches to
hit the 700-win mark.
Hatchell was quick to credit her players and staff, including
assistant coach Andrew Calder, who has been with Hatchell for two
"I don't feel that old," Hatchell said with a laugh. "You
think about winning 700 games, but with the losses it's probably
close to 1,000 games. That's a lot. But you know what? I love it as
much now as I ever loved it, and especially it's because of this
No one can blame Hatchell for feeling that way about one of her
most talented squads. Larkins, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, and Little, a
6-2 junior, notched their first double-doubles this year with
Little cracking the 1,000-point mark for her career.
In addition, reserve LaToya Pringle, a 6-3 sophomore, added nine
points, four rebounds and two blocks in just 14 minutes with
Larkins battling foul trouble.
The trio helped offset a bad shooting day from leading scorer
Ivory Latta, who came in averaging 17.7 points and shooting 52
percent but finished with 12 on 2-for-15 shooting. The three also
outplayed the Wolfpack's Tiffany Stansbury and Khadijah
Whittington, both of whom battled foul trouble.
The Tar Heels, who came in winning games by an average margin of
34 points, appeared to be on their way to another easy win. But
while they had some trouble putting the game away, the Wolfpack got
no closer than six points after halftime and struggled against the
Tar Heels' athleticism and pressure defense.
North Carolina shot just 32 percent and committed 21 turnovers,
but went 17-for-24 at the free-throw line. The Tar Heels also took
a 49-43 rebounding edge, pulling down 17 offensive rebounds that
led to 16 second-chance points.
"They made us play real ragged," Hatchell said. "They changed
their defense a lot. They were aggressive going to the boards and
got the ball inside. We sputtered probably more than we sputtered
all year out there today. We got things going when we had to and we
got big rebounds when we had to."
N.C. State shot 36 percent, went 8-for-15 from the line and
committed 26 turnovers. Stansbury managed 13 points but played just
23 minutes, while Whittington scored five, six below her average.
"A lot of times, we played great defense, then we didn't get
the box out we needed," Wolfpack coach Kay Yow said. "The effort
and defense and hustle I feel good about. The second-chance points
and free throws, and (Larkins and Little) had a double-double ...
we have to do a better job right there."
Larkins scored nine points during North Carolina's 15-0 run late
in the first half. She scored on a reverse layup after an
up-and-under move to make it 24-20 to start the spurt, and closed
it with a pair of scores against Stansbury, ending with a shot on
the right side for a 37-20 lead with 1:07 left in the half.
The coaches "were telling me to post higher so I had room to
make a move once I caught the ball instead of being so close to the
basket," Larkins said. "I did that a lot."
During that stretch, N.C. State went without a point for nearly
6 minutes until Rachel Stockdale hit a 3-pointer to make it 37-23
with 20 seconds left.
The Wolfpack got as close as 52-46 midway through the second
half, but North Carolina pushed its lead back to double-figures
with a play that seemed to sum up the Wolfpack's trouble inside.
Pringle hit just one of two free throws, but she grabbed the
offensive rebound for another possession.
Then, after Alex Miller missed a 3-pointer, Pringle grabbed
another offensive board and scored on a stickback while being
fouled. She hit the free throw to make it 56-46 with 7:26 to play,
and the Wolfpack got no closer than eight points afterward.