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No. 12 ASU drops season opener to No. 8 North Carolina

November 11, 2007

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -Erlana Larkins had 20 points and 11 rebounds to help No. 8 North Carolina beat No. 12 Arizona State 75-60 in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic on Sunday.

Rashanda McCants scored a career-high 18 points and Jessica Breland added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Tar Heels (2-0).

North Carolina outrebounded the Sun Devils 50-39 and forced 29 turnovers, scoring 21 points off those miscues. The Tar Heels also held Arizona State in the second half to 18 points on 21.9 percent shooting, after allowing the Sun Devils to shoot 51.6 percent in the opening 20 minutes.

Danielle Orsillo scored 16 of her career-high 21 points in the first half and Jill Noe added 13 for Arizona State (0-1), which was held to three field goals in the final 10 minutes in beginning this season the same way it concluded the last one - with a loss in central North Carolina. In March, the Sun Devils capped the most successful season in school history with a 64-45 loss to Rutgers in the Greensboro Regional final.

While Arizona State didn't lead in this one after roughly the midpoint of the first half, the Sun Devils kept things tight for most of the way. They were within one point at halftime and trimmed it to 52-51 on Orsillo's 3 from the left wing with 13:34 left.

Then, the Tar Heels took over. Jessica Breland's steal and coast-to-coast layup sparked a 13-2 run, a burst that ended when her three-point play with 7:26 to play made it 65-53.

McCants established a career high in scoring for the second straight game, surpassing the 17 points she had Friday in the Tar Heels' season-opening 109-32 victory over North Carolina Central.

North Carolina briefly led by double figures in the first half, taking a 37-27 lead on McCants' jumper with 4:18 to go, but Arizona State pulled to 43-42 at the break after Orsillo's 3-pointer from the left corner at the 10-second mark.