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Feb. 13, 2011

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Miami coach Katie Meier knew her team would struggle to score inside against North Carolina’s size on Sunday.

So the Hurricanes used their 3-point shooting against the Tar Heels.

Riquna Williams scored 25 points to help No. 20 Miami beat No. 13 North Carolina 78-66.

The Hurricanes outscored the Tar Heels by 24 points beyond the 3-point arc, making 10 of 24 3-point attempts. North Carolina made just 2 of 22 shots from 3-point range.

“That had to surprise Carolina a little bit,” said Meier, whose team entered the game shooting 29 percent on 3-pointers.

“That was big for us. They’re so unbelievably hard to score on in the paint against that you kind of have to get it in and kick it out and say a nice prayer and hope it goes in.”

Morgan Stroman added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Hurricanes (22-3, 8-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who broke open a tie game with a 10-0 run early in the second half.

Shenise Johnson had 16 points to help Miami win for the fourth time in five games. Stefanie Yderstrom added 14 points for the Hurricanes, who moved into a tie for second place in the ACC.

Miami completed a stretch in which it played four consecutive ranked opponents, all in conference play.

The Hurricanes, who had lost six consecutive games to North Carolina before last season, beat the Tar Heels for the second year in a row.

“The significance of this win is not lost on me or my team,” Meier said. “I absolutely think Carolina is an awesome team, and we’ve had a stretch here where we’ve played an awesome team after an awesome team after an awesome team.”

Laura Broomfield had 18 points and a season-high 15 rebounds for the Tar Heels (22-4, 8-3), whose five-game winning streak ended. Chay Shegog added 14 points for North Carolina.

“Good shooting cures everything,” North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell said. “You can do a lot of things not good, but if you shoot the ball, it makes up for a lot of things. We couldn’t get the ball to go in today.”

In addition to the advantage they enjoyed beyond the arc, the Hurricanes built a 46-40 rebounding edge. Miami also forced North Carolina into 23 turnovers.

“You’ve got to make shots, but they outhustled us,” Hatchell said. “They played harder than we did, outhustled us, made shots, everything like that.”

Miami led by 16 points in the first half and carried a 41-34 lead into the locker room after a 3-pointer by Yderstrom just before the halftime buzzer.

The Tar Heels rallied to tie the game at 44 after a turnaround shot by Shegog with 15:35 remaining. Italee Lucas sparked North Carolina’s run early in the second half, making a layup and a 3-pointer.

The Hurricanes answered with a 3-pointer by Johnson on their next possession, igniting the 10-0 run that allowed them to take control of the game. Williams finished off the spurt with a 3-pointer and two driving layups to give Miami a 54-44 lead with 12 minutes to play.

North Carolina cut Miami’s lead to 54-48 after two free throws by Cetera DeGraffenreid with 10:50 to play, but Johnson had two layups to restore her team’s double-digit cushion.

The Hurricanes increased their lead to 18 points as they made nine consecutive free throws down the stretch.

“Our whole thing was just thinking of composure,” Stroman said. “Let’s just be more composed than the other team and take our time and get the shots that we want. I guess it worked for the best.”

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