Chapel Hill, N.C. – Brittany Starling finished with her third consecutive double-double but it wasn’t enough as USC Upstate lost 80-40 to North Carolina in Carmichael Arena on Wednesday afternoon.
North Carolina improves to 7-5 while USC Upstate falls to 6-6.
Starling scored 12 points and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field while pulling down 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. Raven Jefferson had seven points, followed by Kristen Dickerson and DeNisha Swain with five points each. Brittany Clency finished with three assists while Travonda Haddock had two blocks. Dickerson and A’Lexxus Davis each had two steals.
Stephanie Watts scored a game-high 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead North Carolina. Destinee Walker scored 15 points, followed by Jamie Cherry with 12 points and Xylina McDaniel with 10 points. Cherry had a game-high seven assists.
North Carolina opened the contest on a 5-0 run before Dickerson got the Spartans on the board with a pair of free throws at the 7:48 mark of the first quarter. Upstate took a 6-5 lead with 5:30 remaining following a Haddock jumper from just outside the paint. The Tar Heels reclaimed the lead, 8-6, following a Cherry three-pointer. Swain brought the Spartans to within two, 10-8, following a jumper at the 3:21 mark before the Tar Heels closed out the quarter on a 13-4 run for a 23-12 lead at the end of the first quarter. North Carolina was 4-for-6 in three-point attempts.
The Tar Heels opened the second quarter on a 7-0 run, taking a 30-12 lead before a Starling jumper at the 8:15 mark made the score 30-14. A Walker jumper with 2:34 to play in the quarter gave the Tar Heels their largest lead of the frame, 45-18. Raven Jefferson’s jumper with 21 seconds remaining served as the final points of the first half as North Carolina led 47-23 at halftime.
A McDaniel field goal opened the scoring in the third quarter as the Tar Heels led by no fewer than 24 points in the frame. Starling sank a free throw with 26 seconds remaining in the quarter as North Carolina led 62-32 after 30 minutes. North Carolina enjoyed a lead of between 32 and 41 points in the fourth quarter as a Rachel McGirt jumper with 31 seconds remaining served as the game’s final points.
North Carolina finished 32-for-66 (48.5%) from the field while the Spartans finished a season-low 24.6% (15-for-61). The Tar Heels were 11-for-21 (52.4%) from behind the three-point line, with Upstate finishing 2-for-17 (11.8%). North Carolina held a 47-34 advantage in rebounds.
Upstate returns to the Hodge Center on Saturday, welcoming North Carolina Central for a 2 p.m. start.