Bruins Battle but Fall to No. 12/14 North Carolina, 78-68
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LOS ANGELES -- Three Bruins registered double-doubles but it wasn't enough as No. 12 North Carolina repelled runs in both halves to beat UCLA 78-68 Sunday in Pauley Pavilion.
Allisha Gray had a career-high 30 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for the Tar Heels. The UNC freshman made six 3-pointers to help the foul-plagued Tar Heels (2-1), who lost Brittany Rountree after she got hurt early in the second half.
Rountree had three fouls, and fellow starters Diamond DeShields and Xylina McDaniel had four. Stephanie Mavunga fouled out with nine points.
North Carolina traveled across the country to earn its first win in Los Angeles, where the Tar Heels had been 0-2. They tied the all-time series 4-4. Jessica Washington added 16 points and McDaniel scored 13.
Thea Lemberger scored 19 points for the Bruins (1-2), who lost to their second 12th-ranked opponent this season. They opened the year with a 28-point loss to then-No. 12 Nebraska on the road.
Atonye Nyingifa had 18 points and 11 rebounds, Nirra Fields had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Lauren Holiday had 10 points and 11 rebounds in her first game of the season as a redshirt freshman.
UCLA tied the game once in both halves, but could never grab the lead. Nyingifa scored the Bruins' first six points of the second half, tying it at 36-all on a jumper in the paint.
Gray answered with the first of her three straight 3-pointers that launched the Tar Heels on a 16-2 run and extended their lead to 52-38. Gray is part of a freshmen class ranked No. 1 nationally, and she's led her team in scoring in each of their three games.
Her 3-pointers and 8 of 8 shooting from the line were career bests despite four fouls.
The Tar Heels built their lead to 19 points three times, the last at 66-47 on a basket by Mavunga, her last before fouling out with 4:33 to play.
North Carolina hit consecutive 3-pointers to open the game in building a 17-8 lead. The Bruins outscored them 11-2 to tie it up 19-all on a free throw by Holiday after she fell hard to the court.
From there, the Tar Heels closed on a 15-11 spurt to lead 34-30 at the break. Down by 11 during that span, the Bruins scored seven straight points to end the half.
The Bruins next play Sunday at home versus the No. 11 Oklahoma Sooners. The game will tip off at 1:00 p.m. and air on the Pac-12 Networks.
No. 12/14 North Carolina at UCLA
No. 12/14 North Carolina