UNC women cruise past Hokies
Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored 17 points and No. 16 North Carolina led from start to finish in a 72-50 win over Virginia Tech on Friday night at Cassell Coliseum.
UNC outscored the Hokies 33-11 in the first 15 minutes of the game and never led by fewer than 14 the rest of the way.
Xylina McDaniel added 13 points and Krista Gross just missed a double-double with 11 points and nine boards.
UNC (24-4, 12-3 ACC) used the deep ball with success in the first 20 minutes, making 7 of 13 shots from 3-point range including two each from Gross, McDaniel and Latifah Coleman.
Waltiea Rolle, who had nine points, seven rebounds, five assists and three blocks, made a layup just before the halftime buzzer to give the Tar Heels a 40-24 lead heading into the locker room.
Ruffin-Pratt went coast-to-coast on a steal and score early in the second half, and Rolle scored on a jumper to make the lead 20 just 90 seconds after the break.
Monet Tellier, who led Virginia Tech (8-18, 2-13) with 15 points and eight assists, knocked down a 3-pointer with 8:59 to play to cut the Tar Heels’ advantage to 14, but the Hokies would get no closer.
With the victory, UNC ensured a top-four finish in the league standings and a first-round bye in the ACC Tournament for the first time since 2009.
The Tar Heels will look to lock up at least the No. 3 seed on Sunday at home against N.C. State. That game at Carmichael Arena is set for a 1:30 p.m. start and is UNC’s 2013 Play4Kay game.
No. 16 UNC 72, Va. Tech 50
Percentages: FG .414, FT .600. 3-Point Goals: 9-17, .529 (Coleman 2-2, McDaniel 2-4, Gross 2-4, Rountree 2-5, Buckland 1-1, Ruffin-Pratt 0-1). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 7 (Rolle 3, Ruffin-Pratt 2, Coleman, McDaniel). Turnovers: 10 (Gross 3, Coleman 3, Butts 2, Rountree, Ruffin-Pratt). Steals: 3 (Gross, Ruffin-Pratt, Rolle).
Percentages: FG .339, FT .357. 3-Point Goals: 7-15, .467 (Tellier 3-4, Lloyd 3-4, Fenyn 1-3, L. Evans 0-1, Wilson 0-3). Team Rebounds: 7. Blocked Shots: 2 (L. Evans 2). Turnovers: 14 (L. Evans 3, Wilson 3, Lloyd 3, Fenyn 2, Ugoka, Tellier, Conyers). Steals: 5 (Lloyd 2, Young, Fenyn, Tellier).
A—1,844. Officials—Eric Brewton, Susan Blauch, Joanne Aldrich.