2:30 PM ET, November 11, 2007
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Once North Carolina's young guards figured out to get the ball to Erlana Larkins, their first test of the season turned into a blowout.Larkins scored 12 of her 20 points in the second half and added 11 rebounds to help the Tar Heels (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 8 AP) beat No. 12 Arizona State 75-60 in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic on Sunday. "Arizona State did a great job, and I was expecting that, but I just thought there were times that I was open, even if I were to just pass the ball, but they weren't getting it in there," Larkins said. "When it comes to tournament time and ACC time, Tennessee, UConn, all those mistakes are really going to cost us." Rashanda McCants scored a career-high 18 points and Jessica Breland added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Tar Heels (2-0), who are trying to develop a rhythm between their experienced post players and a talented but young group of guards that is replacing graduated All-American Ivory Latta. "At times we were a little out of sync, but I told them, 'Just don't slow down,'" coach Sylvia Hatchell said. "We'll make those corrections going 100 miles per hour." North Carolina outrebounded the Sun Devils 50-39 and forced 29 turnovers, scoring 21 points off those miscues. The Tar Heels also held Arizona State in the second half to 18 points on 21.9 percent shooting, after allowing the Sun Devils to shoot 51.6 percent in the opening 20 minutes. "Missed free throws, missed shots in the paint -- we had good looks from the perimeter," Arizona State coach Charlie Turner Thorne said. "I think we got tired, really, not in great game shape, and they did a good job of picking up their defense." Danielle Orsillo scored 16 of her career-high 21 points in the first half and Jill Noe added 13 for Arizona State (0-1), which was held to three field goals in the final 10 minutes in beginning this season the same way it concluded the last one -- with a loss in North Carolina. In March, the Sun Devils capped the most successful season in school history with a 64-45 loss to Rutgers in the Greensboro Regional final. While Arizona State didn't lead in this one after roughly the midpoint of the first half, the Sun Devils kept things tight for most of the way. They were within one point at halftime and trimmed it to 52-51 on Orsillo's 3 from the left wing with 13:34 left. Then, the Sun Devils got sloppy and the Tar Heels took over. Breland's steal and coast-to-coast layup sparked a 13-2 run, a burst that ended when her three-point play with 7:26 to play made it 65-53. "I don't think we made them play defense when they made their run," Turner Thorne said. "We shot quick, we turned the ball over and we didn't play smart." McCants established a career high in scoring for the second straight game, surpassing the 17 points she had Friday in the Tar Heels' season-opening 109-32 victory over North Carolina Central. North Carolina briefly led by double figures in the first half, taking a 37-27 lead on McCants' jumper with 4:18 to go, but Arizona State pulled to 43-42 at the break after Orsillo's 3-pointer from the left corner at the 10-second mark.