Feb. 5, 2006
ATLANTA (AP) – Ivory Latta is such a good shooter that even her best days seem routine to North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell.
Latta scored 30 points, including 6-of-7 from 3-point range, to lead the top-ranked Tar Heels to a 75-56 victory over Georgia Tech on Sunday.
“She shoots like that all the time,” Hatchell said. “She made good decisions and got good looks. It’s not that unusual to tell you the truth.”
Latta, a 5-foot-6 junior, connected on 11 of 14 shots for the Tar Heels (22-0, 9-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), the only unbeaten team in Division I. The six 3s were a career high and gave her 210 for her career, 10th best all-time in the ACC. In addition, it was her 50th straight game with a 3.
“I give the credit to my teammates,” Latta said. “They were finding me and I was just knocking down shots.”
North Carolina took a 31-24 lead at halftime behind 13 points by Latta, who went 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. La’Tangela Atkinson added 11 points for the Tar Heels.
“She showed by she’s one of the top point guards in the country,” Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said of Latta.
“There was only one other scorer for them in double figures. She was definitely the difference in the game.”
Tech narrowed the margin to 33-28 on a pair of free throws by Stephanie Higgs early in the second half before the Tar Heels ran off 13 straight points. Latta scored seven in the run to put her team up 46-28.
North Carolina’s biggest lead was 67-45 on a basket by Latta. The Tar Heels shot 76 percent (16-of-21) in the second half, a season-best.
The Tar Heels broke out to an 11-3 lead, but Tech scored eight straight to tie it at 11 with Terry scoring four points in the run. The Yellow Jackets took their only lead of the half at 15-13 with 8:15 left on a basket by Higgs.
The Tar Heels took the lead for good on a 3-pointer from Latta on the next possession and built their biggest lead of the half to 30-22 on a 3-pointer by Alex Miller.
North Carolina moved to No. 1 in the poll following a 74-70 win over No. 2 Duke on Jan. 29 and has five regular-season games remaining, including the second-ranked Blue Devils and No. 6 Maryland.
Latta doesn’t think the top ranking is an added pressure.
“I think it’s pretty cool North Carolina being No. 1, but we’ve still got a lot of good teams left to play,” she said.
The Tar Heels have won the last eight meetings with Georgia Tech, including an 85-56 win at home on Jan. 18.