The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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UNC wins Dallas Regional

After seeing easy wins on Sunday, the road to the Final Four got a little tougher Tuesday night at the women’s NCAA tournament.

The No. 1 seed North Carolina Tar Heels prevailed with a 84-72 victory over the No. 2 seed Purdue Boilermakers. The UNC win was closer than the 12-point spread shows.

Both teams went back and forth through the early part of the first half, but Purdue pulled away. With two 4-0 runs and a 7-0 run, the Boilermakers looked like they might have a shot at the upset.

But the Tar Heels came marching back, mounting a 12-0 run to take a seven-point lead with 3:04 left in the half. That lead got as high as nine points with 1:38 left, and North Carolina took a 35-28 lead into halftime.

North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell attributed the success of the game to that 12-0 run.

“We got the tempo up, we picked up our defense and got some fast break situations,” said Hatchell. “That gave us confidence.”

The second half saw Purdue look to keep it a game with big three-point shots, four from Katie Gearlds and one from Erin Lawless. But there was no answer for Erlana Larkins, who finished the game with 29 points, 10 rebounds and the title of Most Outstanding Player in the Dallas Regional. Ivory Latta finished with 21 points.

The end of the game wasn’t so much punch by punch as it was blow by blow. The Tar Heels went on an 8-0 run to get a 12-point lead, but Purdue answered with an 8-0 run of their own to cut the lead to four.

But the Heels went running again, this time adding seven points to build an 11-point lead with 4:49 left.

The final five minutes were dominated by free throws. UNC had the edge, making 15 in the second half.

The Tar Heels will be returning to the Final Four for the second straight season. Last year, Latta left the Final Four game with a knee injury in UNC’s loss against champion Maryland.

“We are going there to get a job done and going there to have fun,” said Latta.

Briefly: North Carolina cheerleaders had their wrists taped with the initials JR on them in honor of the late Jason Ray. Ray was the Tar Heel mascot Rameses who was hit by a car while in New Jersey with the men’s basketball team.

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