Carolina pulls away for win vs. ASU

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- As the second half started, North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell could be heard above the noise of the Smith Center crowd as she implored her team to play better defense than it did in the game's first 20 minutes.

While Hatchell might not have been entirely thrilled with the results, she did get an improvement, and the Tar Heels got a 75-60 win against Arizona State in the first game of the State Farm Tip-Off Classic.

"She really let us know how badly we were playing," center Erlana Larkins said.

The Sun Devils shot 51.6 percent in the first half but went way south in the second, dipping to a 21.9-percent shooting clip.

ASU missed 12 of its first 15 shots of the second half.

"I think we just buckled down," UNC's Rashanda McCants said. "We knew we were a better defensive team than that. We were a bit nonchalant on the shooters (in the first half). If we continued to play that way, we probably would have come out with a loss."

The Tar Heels finished the game on a 23-9 run after leading by only a point with 13:44 to go in the game.

"I think we got tired, really," Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne said. "We're not in great game shape, and they picked up their defense. But we didn't make them play defense when they made their run.

"Early season basketball is what everyone saw out there."

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Erlana Larkins wasn't getting the ball early, but a halftime lecture from Hatchell to the team's freshman guards resulted in more touches for Larkins, who finished with 20 points on 8 of 14 shooting as well as 11 rebounds.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Midway through the first half, ASU's Jill Noe was on the break and with UNC's primary shot-blocker LaToya Pringle the lone defender, Noe dished behind the back to Briann January, who scored the layup and drew a foul on Pringle.

NEXT UP FOR ARIZONA STATE: Chinese National Team (exhibition), Nov. 15

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