CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell issued a challenge to her team at halftime to get more rebounds. The Tar Heels grabbed just enough of them in the second half to avoid an early wakeup call.
Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored a career-high 16 points to help No. 4 North Carolina defeat Charleston Southern 76-67 on Sunday. The Tar Heels, who were outrebounded 28-27 in the first half, finished with a 46-43 advantage on the boards.
"I told them that if they got outrebounded, we were going to have rebounding practice at 6 o'clock tomorrow morning," Hatchell said. "They won that by three, so I keep my word. As much as I'd love to do a rebounding practice at 6 o'clock in the morning, I'll keep my word. But at 1:30, we'll do the same thing."
Laura Broomfield scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Tar Heels (5-0), who shot 50 percent from the field. Waltiea Rolle added 10 points for North Carolina.
The Tar Heels survived a long-range onslaught from Charleston Southern (3-3), which entered the game averaging nearly 29 3-point attempts per game.
Kelsey Wasmer scored 19 points and Katie Tull added 18 points for the Buccaneers, who made 17 of 48 3-point attempts. Both figures are the highest ever by a North Carolina opponent. The Buccaneers lost their previous seven games against North Carolina by at least 35 points.
"We don't normally shoot 48 [3-pointers]," Charleston Southern coach Julie Goodenough said. "But just running the game back through my mind, I think there were probably about five ill-advised 3s that we took. Other than that, I would have given them the green light to take the ones that they did. That's a big part of our game."
The Buccaneers were 4 for 23 on 2-point shots. But their 3-point shots, even the ones they missed, kept them in the game.
Long bounces off the rim helped Charleston Southern grab 24 offensive rebounds, seven more than the taller Tar Heels. On some occasions, North Carolina players knocked the ball out of bounds while battling each other for a rebound.
"A lot of times we were taking it from each other," Broomfield said. "Our heart and our intensity were there. We just have to learn how to communicate and not take the ball from each other."
North Carolina led 46-36 at halftime after pulling away in the middle of the first half. The Tar Heels used a 14-1 run to take a 37-22 lead with 7:03 remaining in the half, holding the Buccaneers without a field goal for more than six minutes.
The Tar Heels moved ahead 65-43 after a 15-1 run early in the second half. The Buccaneers responded with an 11-0 spurt of their own, but they never trailed by fewer than nine points the rest of the way.
"We hadn't played a team like this," Hatchell said. "This was probably good for us."