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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC Too Much for Clemson

Apparently, North Carolina has discovered the key to evoking Davis' personal demons.

The No. 20 Tar Heels out-rebounded and out-hustled his Tigers for the second time this season in an 86-76 win Thursday night at Carmichael Auditorium, prompting Davis to proclaim himself "about as frustrated as I've ever been in coaching in 35 years."

Benefitting from a huge size advantage inside with the presence of 6-foot-6 center Candace Sutton, UNC (20-6, 9-4 in the ACC) pulled down 41 boards, including 18 on the offensive glass, and ran its high-low game to perfection in the second half to pull away for its sixth consecutive win. In wins against Clemson (14-10, 6-7), UNC has grabbed 39 offensive rebounds.

"That means I may be the worst basketball coach in America," Davis said, "because that is never supposed to happen."

After leading by as many as 11 in the first half, UNC got a little sloppy on defense and started taking ill-advised shots on offense, allowing the Tigers to enter the break with a 37-35 advantage.

But in the second half, UNC's size, outside touch and defensive intensity were too much for Clemson to handle.

Sutton, who missed the last game against Clemson because of an ankle injury, scored nine of her 16 points in the second half, including seven during a 4:05 stretch that pushed UNC to a 54-50 lead and forced Clemson to go to a 1-3-1 zone.

That opened up the perimeter for the Tar Heels, which hit 5 of 13 3-pointers in the second half. Coretta Brown nailed four second-half 3s and tied her career high with six for the game.

UNC also kept Clemson guard Chrissy Floyd from taking over. The ACC's second-leading scorer finished with 24 points, but seven of those came in garbage time.

"She's a deadly player when she gets the ball, so that was our objective, to deny her the ball," Brown said.

With three games remaining until the ACC Tournament, the Tar Heels seem to have overcome a rough patch of play when they lost four of five games.

"We're doing some good things, but we have to correct the defensive breakdowns that we had tonight," said UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell, whose team is currently second in the conference. "Those spells when we start taking bad shots, they're getting better."

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