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GAMEDAY Womens Basketball

North Carolina 60, Notre Dame 50

By AARON BEARD
AP Basketball Writer

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - First-year guard Paulina Paris scored 11 of her season-high 16 points in the fourth quarter to help No. 22 North Carolina push past No. 4 Notre Dame 60-50 on Sunday.

Deja Kelly added 14 points for the Tar Heels (10-5, 1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who snapped a four-game skid that had drained some of their early-season buzz. But they responded with a tough-minded performance on a day when nothing came easily for either offense.

Paris, a 5-foot-9 guard, had matched her previous season high of 15 points in a loss at No. 9 Virginia Tech last weekend and then followed by pushing past that mark in another marquee matchup.

That included her confident driving score for a 45-40 lead with 6:55 left, followed by her burying a huge 3-pointer on the next play to push the margin to eight - which had Notre Dame coach Niele Ivey burning a timeout while Paris' teammates gathered for a quick midcourt celebration of her burst.

Notre Dame (12-2, 3-1) got no closer than five again, with UNC making 10 of 12 free throws in the final three-plus minutes to protect the margin.

UNC won despite shooting just 35.6% for the game.

The offensive grind was particularly surprising for the Fighting Irish, who entered this game ranked ninth nationally in scoring (84.1) and fifth in shooting percentage (.498).

Notre Dame had shot no worse than 42.6% in any game this year, but struggled to knock down much of anything from the opening tip. The Fighting Irish finished the game shooting 28.1% (16 for 57), including just 2 for 22 from behind the arc.

Olivia Miles had 15 points and seven rebounds to lead Notre Dame, which had entered Sunday as one of two unbeaten teams in ACC play.

BIG PICTURE

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish had been off since last weekend's blowout win against Boston College - which followed that by upsetting No. 10 North Carolina State on the road Thursday - and needed a win to stay alongside No. 19 Duke (4-0) in the league standings.

UNC: The Tar Heels' season start was marked comeback wins against then-No. 18 Oregon and then-No. 5 Iowa State in November that helped UNC vault to No. 6 in the AP Top 25. But the recent skid had given the Tar Heels their first 0-3 start in ACC play under fourth-year coach Courtney Banghart, as well as setting them up for a potential exit from Monday's latest poll - at least, until Sunday's grind-it-out win against the Irish.

January 8, 2023


Notre Dame
Player Pos Min FG-FGA FT-FTA 3P-3PA OR-TR Ast Blk Stl TO PF Pts
M. Westbeld F 26 2-10 0-0 0-3 2-3 1 0 0 4 3 4
K. Watson F 18 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 2 0
D. Mabrey G 37 3-15 0-0 1-11 0-3 1 0 2 1 2 7
O. Miles G 34 5-9 5-6 0-4 0-7 5 0 2 5 3 15
S. Citron G 33 4-11 4-5 1-4 0-3 0 1 2 1 3 13
L. Ebo 28 2-10 3-4 0-0 7-19 0 1 3 1 4 7
K. Bransford 18 0-1 4-6 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 3 3 4
C. Prosper 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 0
Totals   200 16-57
(.281)
16-21
(.762)
2-22
(.091)
12-42 7 2 9 19 21 50


North Carolina
Player Pos Min FG-FGA FT-FTA 3P-3PA OR-TR Ast Blk Stl TO PF Pts
A. Poole F 15 1-2 0-0 0-0 1-8 0 1 0 1 1 2
A. Ustby G 40 5-10 1-2 1-1 0-5 2 3 3 2 1 12
D. Kelly G 38 4-16 5-6 1-3 0-4 3 0 2 3 2 14
K. Todd-Williams G 38 3-12 2-2 1-3 2-7 1 0 1 4 4 9
E. Hodgson G 21 0-4 0-0 0-4 0-2 3 0 2 4 3 0
P. Paris 23 6-9 1-2 3-4 0-1 1 0 1 0 1 16
D. Adams 19 2-4 2-2 1-1 1-4 2 3 1 1 5 7
T. Key 4 0-2 0-0 0-0 1-1 0 0 0 0 0 0
A. Zelaya 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Totals   200 21-59
(.356)
11-14
(.786)
7-16
(.438)
5-34 13 7 10 15 18 60


Officials: Maj Forsberg, Tiara Cruse, Katie Lukanich
Attendance: 3,976




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