CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Diamond DeShields had it all working: the pullup in transition, the stepback jumper over a defender, the defense, the rebounding.
Determined to put her lackluster NCAA tournament debut behind her, North Carolina’s star freshman put on a dominating show to help the Tar Heels beat Michigan State 62-53 in Tuesday night’s second round.
DeShields finished with 24 points and a season-high 12 rebounds, a reversal from the game that nearly put an early end to UNC’s season.
The 6-foot-1 guard from Norcross, Ga., did it all with the ease — and even swagger — of a veteran.
“There were no nerves,” she said. “I was extremely fired up for the game tonight. … We were very comfortable as soon as that ball got thrown into the air. And it showed.”
It sure did. The fourth-seeded Tar Heels (26-9) led by nine at halftime then dominated the opening minutes of the second half to turn the game into a rout.
North Carolina ran off 14 straight points to blow the game open, with DeShields scoring twice during that flurry to build a 57-31 lead with 11
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