Latta leads the way in UNC's 2nd exhibition win

Freshman led all scorers with 24 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - With four players scoring in double figures, the North Carolina women's basketball team defeated the West Coast All-Stars 97-60 Monday evening at Carmichael Auditorium in the Tar Heels' final exhibition game of the 2003-04 preseason.

UNC freshman Ivory Latta, the Preseason Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year, led all scorers with 24 points on 8-for-15 shooting from the field and 6-for-7 free throw shooting. She also had six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Sophomore La'Tangela Atkinson scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Freshman Camille Little scored 16 points and led the team with 12 rebounds to register her second double-double in as many appearances in a Carolina uniform. Junior Nikita Bell came off he bench to score 14 points on 7-for-11 shooting in 17 minutes of play.

UNC won the rebounding battle 58-42 and had nine blocks (four each by Little and senior Candace Sutton), but committed 26 turnovers.

"I like the up-tempo style we're playing, but when you play that way you're going to have mistakes, especially early in the season," UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell said. "I thought we showed good balance tonight, with a lot of people contributing. I saw a lot of good things, and I didn't see any bad things that we can't fix."

Carolina started slowly, hitting just one of its first seven shots. The Tar Heels trailed 7-3 three minutes into the game, but scored the next 20 points to take a 23-7 lead at the 10:37 mark of the first half. West Coast All-Stars shot 17.1 percent (6-for-35) in the first period to 48.6 percent by the Tar Heels, who led 48-21 at the break. Both teams shot better in the second half * 57.1 percent for UNC and 32.6 for the visitors.

Natalia Isaac, who played at Temple University, led the West Coast All-Stars with 21 points, including seven three-pointers. Athena Christoforakis, another former Temple player, was the only other player in double figures with 15 points. The team travels cross-country to play at New Mexico on Tuesday night, then moves on to face Arizona State (Nov. 15), Richmond (Nov. 16) and UCLA (Nov. 17).

The Tar Heels defeated Premier Players 100-61 last Wednesday in their first exhibition game. They open the 2003-04 season on Nov. 21 with a home game at Carmichael against St. Francis (Pa.).

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