by Mike Potter
Italee Lucas' "homecoming" game in Las Vegas went just fine.
The junior guard scored 24 points and backcourt running mate Cetera DeGraffenreid added 22, helping No. 4 UNC hold off UNLV 78-68 in women's basketball at Cox Pavilion.
Lucas' biggest play came with 1:19 left, when after missing back-to-back free throws she got the offensive rebound and put the ball in the hoop for a 74-66 lead. It was her first game in her hometown as a collegian.
Lucas (pictured) and DeGraffenreid were the only players in double figures for the Tar Heels (3-0), while Chay Shegog added nine points and 11 rebounds and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt chipped in eight points and 11 rebounds.
Jamie Smith led the Rebels (2-2) with 17 points and 18 rebounds. Kelli Thompson added 15 points.
UNC shot just 40.6 percent from the floor, but held the Rebels to 32.4 percent.
The Tar Heels will return to the Smith Center on Wednesday for a 1 p.m. game against Presbyterian.