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The Daily Tar Heel

Brown Burns Clemson From Floor

It would have been a sweet ending for the senior guard, who scored the last six points in North Carolina's Jan. 8

71-70 victory against Clemson.

But the ball didn't swish through the net; instead it found its way into the open arms of UNC's LaQuanda Barksdale.

Barksdale's shot missed as well.

Brown would still get her chance to be the heroine again.

Barksdale's miss kept the game tied at 84 and sent the contest into the first of two overtimes.

So again, with time winding down in the second overtime, Brown received a pass from Barksdale and drove hard to the basket.

This time, the senior's shot banked off the backboard and swished cleanly through the net.

"Coach (Sylvia) Hatchell just said get the ball anywhere where it's open and just go," Brown said. "And it happened that my man wasn't guarding me, and I saw that they were playing Coretta (Brown) tight.

"I was like, 'Q, get me the ball right here.'"

Juana Brown's field goal capped the second-highest outing this season for the guard, who finished with 24 points. She also added five rebounds and chipped in two blocked shots.

As impressive as those 24 are, the game marked the third straight contest in which Brown scored more than 20 points.

Before Brown went on her scoring tear, she went 4-for-13 and 4-for-12 in consecutive games.

Brown attributed her improved shooting to prayer and practice.

"We've been doing a lot of extra shooting," Brown said. "But a lot of prayer, confidence. I guess the more that I go into the gym and shoot, the more confident I'm feeling in my shot now.

"Thank goodness that my teammates are giving me the ball at the right time. Like Coach Hatchell said, we're playing great team ball, and it doesn't matter who scored. It doesn't matter if I scored over 20 in the last three games. What matters is that we've got three straight wins."

What also matters was the way Brown snapped a 10-minute, 37-second stretch in which she couldn't find the bottom of the net. She opened the game hot, scoring nine points in the first six minutes of the contest.

But when Brown finally made her next field goal, she couldn't have picked a more perfect time. She started a 6-0 Tar Heel run between two timeouts which turned into UNC seizing the lead from the Lady Tigers.

Of course, Brown's most important shot of the night was the one that secured the lead with 0.8 seconds left in the second overtime.

"There wasn't any," said Clemson coach Jim Davis when asked about his team's defense on the final play.

"She drove the length of the floor and shot a layup. We were supposed to be in our man-to-man defense. Bottom line is, players make plays and Juana Brown made a play."

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