CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Freshman Brianna Turner had 29 points and a season-high 18 rebounds and No. 7 Notre Dame shot 63 percent after halftime to beat No. 12 North Carolina 89-79 on Thursday night.
The 6-foot-3 forward matched her season high in points and also in blocked shots with seven in a huge performance for the Fighting Irish (16-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who rallied from 11 down in the first half then blew nearly all of a 14-point lead in the second before holding off the Tar Heels (15-3, 2-2).
Sophomore Lindsay Allen added a career-best 24 points, helping Notre Dame overcome a quiet game from leading scorer Jewell Loyd. She came in averaging 21.5 points but finished with just eight on 4-for-11 shooting.
The Tar Heels rallied to within 78-77 on Stephanie Mavunga’s 3-pointer with 4:29 left, but Allen immediately scored in the paint to start a clinching 9-0 run.
Michaela Mabrey knocked down a critical 3-pointer from in front of the Notre Dame bench with 2:41 left during the run.
Allisha Gray scored 20 points for North Carolina, which shot just 37 percent.
For much of the opening half, the Tar Heels did what they needed to do, controlling the boards and flirting with 50-percent shooting for the first 14 minutes or so. And when they ran off a 15-2 spurt, they had pushed to a 34-23 lead on Jessica Washington’s putback at the 5:28 mark.
But the Irish came right back with an 11-0 burst, all coming from Allen and Turner to erase that margin. Allen scored on a runner with a second left in the half to give Notre Dame a 42-39 lead at the break.
The Fighting Irish then scored on 10 of 12 possessions to start the second half, pushing ahead 64-50 on a stickback by Turner with 12:50 left.
Notre Dame: Loyd had scored in double figures for 60 straight games before Thursday. Coach Muffet McGraw said she was battling a cold. … Sophomore forward Taya Reimer returned after missing two games due to personal reasons. She had four points and seven rebounds off the bench. … Notre Dame had a 46-38 rebounding advantage for the game.
UNC: The Tar Heels had a 16-8 edge on the glass by the 7
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