FREEPORT, Bahamas -- Italee Lucas scored 20 of her 25 points in the first half to help No. 2 North Carolina rout Pacific 98-62 on Friday night in the Junkanoo Jam.
With the game tied at 18 with 8:39 to go in the first half, North Carolina (7-0) took over, closing on a 29-7 run to take a 47-25 lead into the half. The Tar Heels were able to trap and force a number of turnovers leading to easy baskets during the spurt."The first 10 minutes we looked like we were still on vacation, but we changed things up defensively, increased our intensity and started trapping, and I thought that made a big difference," said Tar Heels coach Sylvia Hatchell, who is now 10 wins shy of becoming the fourth Division I women's coach to reach 800 victories.Lucas was 10-for-13 from the field, including hitting four 3-pointers for the Tar Heels, who shot 53 percent from the floor. Jessica Breland added 14 points and 10 rebounds. Heather Claytor also had 14 points, hitting four 3-pointers."We knew they would pack it in, so me and Heather took the initiative and knocked down some shots," Lucas said.Iman McFarland had eight points, eight rebounds, and a career-high six blocks.Jasmine Dana scored a career-high 18 points, including four 3-pointers, to lead Pacific (1-2)."North Carolina is simply unbelievable," Pacific coach Lynne Roberts said. "They are most impressive in their ability to turn any mistake into instant points on the other end. In the span of just a few minutes they were able to build their lead from just a few points to double digits by capitalizing on our mistakes."North Carolina, which forced 29 turnovers in the game, will face Oregon State on Saturday. Pacific will play Arkansas.