5:00 PM ET, November 17, 2006
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Ivory Latta said she got an earful Friday night from North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell."She was pretty much in my ear every time I came down the court," Latta said. "Push the ball. Push the ball."The result was another up-tempo beating delivered by the No. 2 Tar Heels, this time to outmatched Elon, 90-36."They're overpowering," Elon coach Brenda Paul said. "I'm still proud of the fact we scored more points on them than anyone else so far this season."North Carolina held its first two opponents to 36 and 32 points. Paul said she counted Hatchell among her close friends, but that didn't keep Hatchell from goading her players to score faster and faster.North Carolina (3-0) pressed Elon (1-1) into 34 turnovers. The Tar Heels led 52-20 at the half and blew the game wide open with a 19-0 run early in the second half. Paul said the Phoenix couldn't see over the top of North Carolina's backcourt."They're just bigger and faster, at every position, than the sort of teams we usually play," Paul said. "Whenever we could see well enough to make a pass, they just cut it off."Latta finished with 21 points and sophomore Rashanda McCants 16. Latta also had five assists and three of the Tar Heels' 25 steals."Our traps and our rotation, our defense in general, was better tonight," Hatchell said. "When we play good defense, that usually helps our offense get going."North Carolina's Erlana Larkins had nine rebounds, seven steals and seven points.The Tar Heels held a 52-25 rebounding edge and limited Elon to nine offensive rebounds, one in the second half."They still had too many (rebounds) in the first half," Hatchell said. "We talked about that some at halftime and did better in the second half."Rachel Hester came off Elon's bench to hit three straight 3-pointers in the second half and finished with 11 points.McCants went 6-for-14 from the floor, including two 3-pointers, and 2-for-2 at the line to match her career high in points for the second straight game. Latta missed two of her first three shots, but then made two 3-pointers and had 14 points by halftime.North Carolina hit six of its first seven shots and opened up a 24-8 lead midway through the first half. Elon managed a single basket during a span of 7:26, and the Tar Heels pushed their lead to 42-10 during the stretch.Elon went 7:23 without a point early in the second half. By the time Hester hit the first of her three 3-pointers, North Carolina had taken a 73-24 lead.The Phoenix scored a single field goal and a free throw in the game's final 9:17 as North Carolina pulled away.