Feb. 2, 2003
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – With North Carolina leading and Coretta Brown stepping to the line late in the game against Georgia Tech on Sunday, coach Sylvia Hatchell wasn’t worried.
Brown hit six straight free throws down the stretch and finished with 17 points as the seventh-ranked Tar Heels beat Georgia Tech 76-64.
“I wasn’t nervous there at the end, not as long as Coretta was the one there at the line,” Hatchell said.
LaTangela Atkinson had 10 points and 12 rebounds for her sixth double-double for North Carolina (19-2, 8-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Nikita Bell added 12 points and Candace Sutton 11 as the Tar Heels won their fourth straight game since an overtime loss to Duke.
The Tar Heels used a 14-2 run midway through the second half to take control of the game, then held on as the Yellow Jackets (14-7, 3-6) tried to rally. North Carolina controlled the glass, taking a 42-33 rebounding advantage with 14 offensive boards.
Mallorie Winn, playing for the first time after missing 11 games with a stress fracture, scored 14 points in the final 4:23 and led Georgia Tech with 21 points.
North Carolina played solid defense against 6-foot-5 Sonja Mallory, who came into the game averaging 18.1 points and a league-best 10.2 rebounds. She finished with eight points and six rebounds before fouling out in 27 minutes.
“They kept trying to get the ball inside to Mallory,” Sutton said, “but we did a pretty good job of preventing that.”
Leading 49-45, the Tar Heels limited Georgia Tech to just one basket during an 8:17 span and went on the 14-2 run to extend their lead to 63-47.
After North Carolina pushed its lead to 66-49 on two free throws by Brown, Winn scored 12 consecutive points, including a 3-pointer with 47 seconds left that pulled Georgia Tech to 70-61.
But the Yellow Jackets got no closer as the Tar Heels hit six free throws in the final 40 seconds to seal the win.
“They made a good run at us, but we didn’t fold our tents,” Georgia Tech coach Agnus Berenato said. “We hung tough and were resilient and made it exciting there at the end.”
Bell and Brown each had eight points by halftime to help North Carolina to a 38-31 lead.
Georgia Tech’s last lead was 29-27 with 4:37 left in the first half. Four Tar Heels combined for eight unanswered points over the next 2:11 as North Carolina closed the first half with an 11-2 run.