CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Allisha Gray scored 13 of her 22 points in the final six minutes to lead No. 17 North Carolina to a 71-63 comeback win against No. 7 Florida State on Thursday night.
Gray added 14 rebounds for the Tar Heels (20-5, 7-4 ACC) and took over in the final minutes.
The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak for the Seminoles (22-3, 9-2), who were led by Ivey Slaughter’s 15 points.
Florida State led by 10 early in the second half, but UNC fought back and eventually tied it at 57 on Gray’s 3-pointer with 4:20 remaining. That was during a stretch in which she scored eight straight points to give UNC a 62-61 lead.
Gray sealed the victory with a steal and layup with less than a minute remaining.
Florida State: The Seminoles forced 22 UNC turnovers, marking the seventh time in their last 10 games — and 15th time this year — that an opponent has had 20 or more turnovers. The Tar Heels came in averaging their fewest turnovers per game since the 1995-96 season.
North Carolina: Stephanie Mavunga (11 points) and Brittany Rountree (10) were the only other Tar Heels in double figures. Forward Hillary Summers finished with a career-high nine points off the bench, eclipsing her previous career high of six points with six minutes to go in the first half.
Before the game, North Carolina held a moment of silence to honor Hall of Fame former UNC men’s basketball coach Dean Smith, who died Saturday at age 83, as well as the three Muslim students who were shot and killed near campus Tuesday in a story that has garnered national attention.
With the game tied at 59, Gray was out of control driving to the basket and crashed into FSU’s Slaughter, who spent a good portion of the second half on the bench with foul trouble. Slaughter was called for the block and fouled out with 3:33 remaining. Gray gave the Tar Heels the lead for good 27 seconds later.
Florida State: visits Virginia on Sunday.
North Carolina: visits Louisville on Sunday.
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