As the last second ticked off the clock in Carmichael Arena Wednesday night, senior Tierra Ruffin-Pratt jumped up and came down with a defensive rebound.
The crowd erupted as the No. 22 North Carolina women’s basketball team knocked off No. 15 Ohio State 57-54 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
But just 90 seconds before, a Tar Heel victory wasn’t guaranteed, despite a lead that grew as large as 16 in the second half.
“We knew that Ohio State was going to come storming back,” Hatchell said.
Ohio State’s Tayler Hill knocked down a jumper to put her team up 54-51.
After UNC closed the gap to one point, Ohio State tried to seal the win.
But as Darryce Moore brought the ball up the court, she was met by Ruffin-Pratt. The point guard’s tight defense caused Moore to lose her dribble, and Ruffin-Pratt quickly scooped up the ball, flew down the court and buried the go-ahead layup with Moore on her back and 41 seconds left.
Trying to escape the full-court press and another potential turnover, Ohio State called a timeout to get the inbound pass in front of their bench. But when no immediate pass was available, Hill tried to loft the ball over Ruffin-Pratt.
But Ruffin-Pratt wasn’t content with just one big play.