CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The ninth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels outran and outscored the East Tennessee State Buccaneers and posted a 95-62 win at Carmichael Arena on Friday.
Stepahanie Mavunga scored 26 points and Allisha Gray’s double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) led four double-digit scorers amongst an 11-member lineup that posted points while firing at a 57-percent success rate from the field.
The Tar Heels crashed the boards hard, outrebounding the Buccaneers 44-31, and took advantage of their opportunities in close, scoring 56 points in the paint.
Though the score was tied three times throughout the contest with North Carolina (13-1) leading 43-32 at halftime, an even more productive second-half by the Tar Heels pushed the deficit Tennessee State (8-7) faced to as many as 37 points.
North Carolina begins its Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) schedule against Triangle-area rival the N.C. State Wolfpack at Carmichael Arena on Sunday.
McDaniel out indefinitely
The Tar Heels’ win over East Tennessee State capped off a week during which the Tar Heels faced adversity in light of success.
Though beating Albany 71-56 on Tuesday, North Carolina had to do so without forward Xylina McDaniel who underwent surgery the following day (Wed.) to repair an apparent muscle tear injury to her lower right leg incurred during the Tar Heels’ 85-67 win over Elon on Dec. 21 in Myrtle Beach, S.C..
Before being injured, McDaniel started the first 12 games of the season, averaging 11.3 points and 6.6 rebounds.
McDaniel, the 2013 ACC Freshman of the Year, has been a preseason All-ACC selection each of the last two years, and in 81 career games has made 80 starts, owning career averages of 11.3 points and 6.5 rebounds in parts of three seasons.
McDaniel’s status for the remainder of the season is still to be determined.