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The Daily Tar Heel

North Carolina exorcises Demon Deacons

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The North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Division hosts BARS, a session informing sellers and servers of alcohol about alcohol laws and regulations. The session focused mainly on preventing underage alcohol sales and spotting fake ID's.

For the second time in a row, the North Carolina women’s basketball game began with a pace-setting 8-0 run.

But this time, it wasn’t the Tar Heels trying to play catch-up.

In an impressive display of offensive depth, senior Italee Lucas and junior Laura Broomfield combined for 39 points to lead the Tar Heels (17-2, 3-1 ACC) to a 71-56 victory against conference rival Wake Forest.

“We wanted to start strong with our defense, and also being aggressive offensively, so that was just sort of a mentality or mindset that we wanted to have,” North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell said. “Just sort of getting back to playing what we’re known for — going after people and going up and down the floor.”

Broomfield’s 19 points was the forward’s career-high, and she tacked on 11 rebounds to record her first double-double of the 2010-11 campaign. Lucas led the Tar Heels in scoring yet again, but after the match, she was quick to praise the other half of the game-leading duo.

“Laura is an amazing player,” Lucas said. “Once her confidence is there, no one can stop her. The only person that can stop her is herself.”

Senior Jessica Breland is second only to Lucas in scoring this season for the Tar Heels, but she left after playing just 10 minutes in the first half, suffering a knee injury. Breland didn’t return for the rest of the game, and even disappeared from the bench during the second half.

But with Broomfield lighting up the floor, the Tar Heels didn’t really need her.

UNC led by double digits for much of the game. With just less than 12 and a half minutes left, the Demon Deacons tried desperately to cut down North Carolina’s 20-point lead.

Broomfield just wouldn’t allow it.

The Maryland native leapt to the basket and smacked down the ball, sending it to the floor and then to the arms of her teammate. Sophomore Waltiea Rolle also played a large part defensively against Wake Forest, using her 6-foot-6 frame to help her block six shots.

Despite losing to the Tar Heels, Wake Forest coach Mike Petersen was pleased with his team’s performance, particularly when it came to rebounding. The Demon Deacons nabbed 28 offensive rebounds, and registered a total of 53.

But when it came to shooting, Wake Forest continually came up short. The Demon Deacons were 27.6 percent from the floor, and were 11-for-24 from the charity stripe.

“We had more possessions than they had, but we didn’t get enough out of them,” Petersen said. “If you were to tell me before the game, ‘You’re going to have four more possessions than they do,’ I would have taken that and we’d all run right to Vegas.”

Hatchell was less than thrilled with her team being out-rebounded, and though the Tar Heels shot significantly better than they did in Monday’s loss to Connecticut, she was still unsatisfied with North Carolina’s 37 percent field goal percentage.

But what Hatchell saw on Thursday night reminded her of the team’s drive. The squad had weathered a storm just three days prior, but the Tar Heels were back to their old selves.

And for that, she couldn’t have been happier.

“We’re just better when we do what we’re good at,” Hatchell said. “Sometimes it’s better to try and make the other team adjust to us instead of us trying to make so many adjustments to them.”

Contact the Sports Editor at sports@dailytarheel.com.

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