7:00 PM ET, November 19, 2007
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell admitted she probably shouldn't be so glum after her Tar Heels (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 5 AP) routed Georgia State"You know, when you score 99 points, most people would be pleased," said Hatchell after the 99-64 win Monday night. "But I didn't like our intensity level, especially to start the game."The poor start and inconsistent intensity had the Tar Heels (6-0) quiet after the win despite six Tar Heels scoring in double figures.Rashanda McCants led all scorers with 18 points and career highs in assists (eight) and steals (six).North Carolina opened the game sluggishly, turning the ball over twice and allowing Georgia State (1-3) to take a quick 6-0 lead.But then the Tar Heels broke out a 20-0 run to firmly take control of the game."There's just really a point in time where you just have to pick it up," McCants said. "It was real slack straight from the beginning. Our seniors stepped up and started hitting shots."McCants continued her strong November. She has led North Carolina in scoring in four of its six games. On Sunday, she had a career-high 27 points in a victory against Syracuse, and she produced more offense and defense against the Panthers, dazzling the crowd by creating turnovers and finishing with layups.The Tar Heels kept the pressure on offensively and defensively.Point guard Cetera DeGraffenreid added 16 points after going 12-of-12 from the free-throw line. It was DeGraffenreid's second start since North Carolina lost senior point guard Alex Miller with a torn patella tendon in her right knee. The Tar Heels expect to learn if Miller will be able to return this season after she has surgery Wednesday.North Carolina freshman Rebecca Gray set a career-high with 15 points after sinking five 3-pointers while forward Iman McFarland had a career-high 14.Gray hit three in a 3-minute stretch during the second half. After hitting the third 3 with 9:47 to go, she turned briefly to shoot her family a bewildered grin."Shooters get in a zone, and I'm trying to come out of my shell as best I can to find a place on this team," Gray said. "That's what I'm here for -- to shoot the ball. I found that zone again tonight. I've been waiting to find it for a while -- I'm glad I did."While the Tar Heels' offense chugged along, their defense efficiently caused Georgia State problems. The Panthers committed 16 turnovers in the first half, en route to 27 overall.For both teams, Monday's game was their third in the four days.Despite the loss, the Panthers found positives to take out. The players on the bench cheered wildly as they kept North Carolina from going over 100 and the Panthers' 64 points were a season-high."That's been a problem -- finding ways to score," Georgia State coach Lea Henry said. "I think this game will give our team a lot of confidence, because I'm sure they were a little uncertain about how it would go."Brittany Hollins led the Panthers (1-3) with 14 points and Danielle Anderson contributed 13.
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