Playing on the road against the defending national champions before an energized sellout crowd, second-ranked North Carolina didn't flinch.
Ivory Latta scored a season-high 32 points, and the unbeaten Tar Heels exacted a measure of revenge against No. 3 Maryland with an 84-71 victory last night in College Park, Md.
The crowd of 17,950 was the largest to watch a women's basketball game in Atlantic Coast Conference history, surpassing the 17,243 that viewed the Terrapins' loss to Duke in February 2005.
On this night, however, the Terps (21-2, 5-2) waited too long to match the intensity of their enthusiastic fans. Maryland fell behind early and never caught up, crumbling under a series of turnovers and missed shots.
Latta made four 3-pointers and the Tar Heels (23-0, 7-0) made eight of their first nine shots in the second half to open up a 55-35 lead with 15 minutes remaining. Although the Terrapins eventually got within 1, they couldn't complete the comeback.
Erlana Larkins added 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Tar Heels, whose 23-game winning streak is longest in the nation. North Carolina lost only two games last season -- both to Maryland. The first loss came in overtime during the regular season, and the second came in the national semifinals.
N.C. State 64, BC 46 -- Gillian Goring had a career-high 20 points and 12 rebounds and keyed an early surge by the Wolfpack (15-7, 4-3 ACC), who never let the Eagles into the game in Raleigh, N.C.
BC (11-10, 1-6) missed its first six shots and had 10 turnovers in the opening 13 minutes. Kathrin Ress led the Eagles with 17 points, but played just 24 minutes because of foul trouble.
The victory was No. 698 for N.C. State coach Kay Yow and capped "Hoops for Hope" -- a weekend honoring Yow's second fight in 20 years against breast cancer. Everyone on the court was encouraged to "Think Pink", symbolizing support for all NCAA coaches battling cancer. Every player wore pink shoelaces, every coach wore a pink top or jacket, and officials used pink whistles.
UNC-Wilmington 64, Northeastern 56 -- The host Huskies (3-17, 2-7 Colonial Athletic) couldn't hold a second-half lead against the Seahawks (6-13, 2-6), who got 23 points from Sahsha Taylor.
Charlotte 67, UMass 60 -- Despite 24 points from Pam Rosanio, the Minutewomen (12-10, 2-5 Atlantic 10) couldn't overcome the 49ers (15-7, 6-1) in Amherst.
Saint Louis 72, URI 67 -- Katie Paganelli netted 27 points as the Billikens (9-12, 1-6) won their first A-10 game at the expense of the host Rams (5-16, 3-4).
Bentley 65, Holy Family 62 -- Shannon Kirwan scored 13 of her 19 points after the break, sparking the Falcons (15-5) past the Tigers (17-2) in a nonconference clash in Waltham.
Tennessee 80, Alabama 51 -- Shannon Bobbitt had six 3-pointers among her 20 points as the No. 4 Lady Vols (19-2, 6-0 SEC) sailed in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
LSU 65, Auburn 45 -- At Baton Rouge, La., Sylvia Fowles recorded the 50th double double of her career with 19 points and 20 rebounds to power eighth-ranked LSU (20-2, 6-1 SEC).
Stanford 75, UCLA 68 -- Trailing by 17 in the second half, the host Cardinal (14-5, 6-3 Pac-10) used 22 points from Lawrence Hill and 20 from Anthony Goods to shock the third-ranked Bruins (18-2, 7-2).
Marquette 70, S. Florida 68 -- Jerel McNeal made a steal, drove the length of the court, and made a layup at the buzzer to pick up the No. 15 Golden Eagles (19-4, 6-2 Big East) in Tampa.
Virginia 64, Clemson 63 -- The visiting Cavaliers (13-6, 5-2 ACC) scored the final 15 points, with Jason Cain's tip-in with 15.5 seconds left capping a stunning comeback against the 19th-ranked Tigers (18-4, 4-4).
Vermont 71, Stony Brook 61 -- Mike Trimboli scored 17 points, Kyle Cieplicki added 16, and the Catamounts (15-6, 7-1 America East) won their eighth straight on the road.
Albany 71, UNH 64 -- Jamar Wilson had 23 points as the Great Danes (14-7, 7-2 America East) never trailed in Durham, N.H.
BC 6, Maine 0 -- At Chestnut Hill, the No. 9 Eagles (18-6-2, 12-4-0 Hockey East) received two goals apiece from Allie Thunstrom and Kelli Stack.