by Jacob Swiger
SMITH CENTER/CHAPEL HILL -- North Carolina senior Rashanda McCants started senior night on a tear, scoring 11 points in the first half and pushing the Tar Heels to a 46-34 halftime lead against the Miami Hurricanes Thursday.
Three different seniors scored early for UNC's first six points after being honored prior to tip-off.
The No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels trailed 17-15 nearly halfway through the first half after numerous turnovers and allowing Miami to shoot wide open jumpers in transition, forcing head coach Sylvia Hatchell to burn a timeout -- a Roy Williams no-no.
Hatchell and Williams' philosophies just about only differ when it comes to timeouts. Both teams use half-court traps and the full-court press to fuel their fast-pace offense.
The Tar Heels did an excellent job keeping the Hurricanes from scoring at the rim but continued to give up wide open jump shots, allowing the Hurricanes to convert five 3-pointers, including 4-7 3-point shooting from Miami's Epiphany Woodson.
Off the bench, Jessica Breland grabbed seven rebounds and nailed several big shots for the Tar Heels and pushed the lead to 35-25 with 5:28 to play.