Nov. 3, 2005
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Junior Camille Little led the way with 22 points and four other players scored in double figures as the North Carolina women's basketball team beat EA Sports 96-85 in the Tar Heels' first action of the fall, an exhibition game Thursday evening at Carmichael Auditorium. Sophomore Erlana Larkins finished with 15 points, senior La'Tangela Atkinson had 14, and junior Ivory Latta and freshman Christina Dewitt added 10 each.
Ebony Tanner, a center who played at Richmond, led the visitors with 21 points. Shanika Freeman (Jacksonville State) had 19 and Yolanda Paige (West Virginia) scored 15. EA Sports shot 44.6 percent from the field, while UNC finished at 44.0 percent.
The Tar Heels outrebounded EA Sports 57-37 with five UNC players grabbing seven or more rebounds. Atkinson led the way with 10 and also had eight assists and five steals. Larkins and Dewitt had eight each, and Little and freshman Rashanda McCants both added seven.
North Carolina played 12 players, with 10 of them going nine minutes or more. The starting lineup was made up of the four returning starters - Atkinson, Larkins, Latta and Little - plus senior guard Jessica Sell.
UNC led by 11 points less than five minutes into the game, but EA Sports pulled even and led by four with 8:32 remaining in the half. Carolina scored the next six points to retake the lead, but the game stayed within single digits for the rest of the half and was tied at the break after a three-pointer by Jess Strom with 18 seconds on the clock.
The Tar Heels took the lead for good on a three-pointer by freshman Heather Claytor with 14:28 to play that put UNC up 60-57. Carolina led by 12, its largest advantage of the night, with 6:28 remaining, but EA Sports again chipped away at the lead and drew within three, 87-84, on a basket by Tamia Williams with 2:59 to play. UNC closed the game with a 9-1 run that included four points by Larkins and three by Little.
"Ninety-six points is acceptable, considering we played a lot of people tonight, but giving up 85 is not good," UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell said. " We gave up a lot that we shouldn't have, but we'll get it.
"We've got to work on our defensive intensity and our rotations. That miscommunication or not getting there on the rotation - instead of it being a layup, it will be a steal for us and something going the other way. I saw a lot of good things and we'll just keep working and get our defense going."
UNC's second and final exhibition game will be on Tuesday night against Athletes in Action. Tipoff at Carmichael Auditorium is 7 p.m. and there is no charge for admission. North Carolina opens the season on Nov. 18 with a home game against Davidson.
UNC's Camille Little guards EA Sports guard Yolanda Paige in Thursday's Tar Heel win.