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UNC Defense Leads the Way In Win Against UT-Martin

Utilizing a full-court press, UNC's defense stifled the Skyhawks, forcing 30 turnovers and holding UT-Martin to less than 35 percent shooting.

Less than five minutes into the game, that smile was gone, replaced by a grimace of frustration.

North Carolina's full-court press keyed a 15-0 run in the first five minutes and UNC's defense forced 30 turnovers as the Tar Heels cruised to a 90-67 win against the Skyhawks at Carmichael Auditorium.

Barker, who committed eight turnovers, and her teammates had no answer for UNC's defense, which constantly hassled the Skyhawks (2-10).

"It was a pretty good press," Barker said. "Our offense is based on inside as well as outside shooting. We realized they were tall, but we wanted to show them we weren't scared and tried to take it inside anyway."

Nikki Teasley led the Tar Heels (13-2, 3-0 in the ACC) with 18 points and seven assists and Candace Sutton added 11 points and three blocks in 15 minutes of action, as four Tar Heels scored in double figures and every Tar Heel saw playing time.

UT-Martin coach Gary Van Atta, whose team got no closer than 10 points and at one point trailed 37-7, said the Tar Heels' athleticism was too much for his team to handle.

"We got it handed to us tonight," he said. "I was really disappointed with the way we came out. I thought we should've been ready and not come out scared, but we did."

Teasley, Coretta Brown and Leah Metcalf each made a 3-pointer as the Tar Heels got off to their fast start. UT-Martin didn't score until Tiffany Brundige ended the run with a 3-pointer at the 15:03 mark of the first half.

Van Atta said the Tar Heels' height and experience didn't allow his team to establish any offensive rhythm.

UT-Martin's leading scorer, forward Amy Watson, who went into Monday's game averaging 11.2 points per game, was held to two points on 1-of-9 shooting.

"Our inside players are so young and so short," Van Atta said. "We tried our best to get our offense running, hoping their defense would collapse and leave our shooters open."

Despite the lopsided victory, UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell was disappointed with her team's level of play. The Tar Heels committed 27 turnovers to contribute to the sloppy game.

"I thought the first 10 to 12 minutes we played pretty good," she said. "We got real sloppy in the second half. We should never have 27 turnovers against any team."

Tucker Tears ACL

UNC freshman center Tiffany Tucker suffered a torn left anterior cruciate ligament in the last minutes of Monday's game. Tucker will be re-evaluated by team doctors today.

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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