RALEIGH — The ball kissed the glass, danced around the rim and settled into the bottom of the net. The 8,114 fans at Reynolds Coliseum, the source of a two-hour, ear-piercing din Sunday afternoon, took their cue and fell silent.
Soon a reverential murmur overtook the stands, and Diamond DeShields, the cause of this newfound tranquility, walked to half-court and gazed serenely.
Her 38 points, a North Carolina women’s basketball record for a freshman, drew venom from the N.C. State faithful. Boos when she tore a ball from a Wolfpack’s hands after the whistle blew. Helpless pleas when she spotted up for another inevitable 3-pointer.
DeShields had little to dislike after her record-setting spree in UNC’s 89-82 win against N.C. State, hostility from the home crowd included.
For the second time in six days, DeShields waltzed into an unwelcoming arena and, along with her team, vanquished a rival. With her team losing its hold on a late-game lead, DeShields became the stopgap, rising above a pair of N.C. State defenders for the silencing score.