CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Jessica Breland's lone miss provided one of the most exciting moments of a lopsided game.
Breland scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, missing only a breakaway dunk late in the second half to help No.4 North Carolina defeated Kennesaw State 102-68 on Monday night.
"I wish it was at the beginning of the game," said the 6-3 Breland, who dunked successfully in high school during an AAU game. "I probably would have gotten it. I was kind of tired. My legs were dead."
Aside from that, the Tar Heels (3-0) showed no signs of fatigue while playing their third game in four days. Italee Lucas added a career-high 16 points and four steals for North Carolina, Laura Broomfield scored 11 points and Cetera DeGraffenreid finished with a career-high 10 assists.
North Carolina, which defeated Virginia Commonwealth 77-65 on Sunday, used a 14-0 run against Kennesaw State to take a 30-11 lead with 10:43 remaining in the first half. The Tar Heels pulled away 2 minutes later, beginning a 9-0 run after Kennesaw State's Jennifer Baker received an intentional foul for taking down She'la White on a layup attempt.
North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell sprinted to the other end of the floor to check on White, who left the game with a sore elbow but later returned.
"That foul was crazy," Lucas said. "The whole bench jumped up, and it was a shock. It gave us a burst of energy."
Breland did the same. Hatchell sat down four of her regular starters at the beginning of the game because they graded out poorly on defense against Virginia Commonwealth, leaving Breland as the only regular starter on the floor. She responded with the first basket of the game and went on to shoot 7-of-8 from the field and 5-of-5 on free throws.
Breland also grabbed six of her team's 20 offensive rebounds as the Tar Heels outrebounded Kennesaw State 53-38. The Lady Owls (1-1) elected to play North Carolina's frenetic tempo, but they couldn't keep pace.
"Running is part of our game, and we just did the best we could with it," Kennesaw State coach Colby Tilley said. "Our biggest problem is that we couldn't match up with their height. Of course, they were quicker, too."
Britteny Henderson led Kennesaw State with 14 points, and Greteya Kelley added 13 points. Jennifer Baker, Angie Smith and Gia Lockett scored 12 points apiece for the Lady Owls, who finished with more turnovers (29) than field goals (25).
The Tar Heels overcame 27 turnovers of their own by shooting at least 50 percent from the field for the third game in a row. They posted their 23rd consecutive home win overall and their 70th consecutive home win against nonconference competition.
"Considering that we play so fast and get so many possessions in a game, turnovers are going to happen," Lucas said. "But we do have to make up for them, and hopefully we can get those down."