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Womens basketball

North Carolina 71, South Florida 69

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands Stephanie Watts scored 24 points and the North Carolina women handed No. 17 South Florida its second straight loss at the Paradise Jam, 71-69 on Friday.

The Tar Heels backed up a Thanksgiving Day beat down of UCLA, 83-49 in the opener, and avenged a stinging loss to South Florida the 2016 Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas, 83-55. Watts is one of four members of the UNC rotation to have played in that loss.

Shayla Bennett hit a jumper with 5:36 remaining to give UNC a 12-point lead, 67-55, but Beatriz Jordao scored at the basket, on a jumper and from the free-throw line to help the Bulls eat into that deficit. Sydni Harvey's layup with 1:11 left cut it to five, 70-65, and Elisa Pinzan hit from deep to make it 71-68 with :09 left. Laura Ferreira added a free throw but the Tar Heels forced a turnover on the Bulls' final possession.

Watts hit 9 of 14 from the field, including 4 of 8 from beyond the arc. Paris Kea and Janelle Bailey each added 14 points.

South Florida, which lost to Kentucky 85-63, got 22 points from Ferreira and 18 more from Jordao. Harvey added 17 points.

UNC faces Kentucky on Saturday while South Florida plays UCLA.