Junior Nikita Bell scored 12 points and sophomore Jessica Sell added 11. Sell, who played 15 minutes off the bench, was perfect in the game, hitting all three of her three-point attempts and both free throw attempts. Ten of 11 UNC players scored and the bench provided 42 of the team's 90 points with no Tar Heel playing more than 25 minutes.
"The bench played well and a lot of people contributed tonight," UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell said. "We got a little sloppy at times - 18 turnovers is the most we've had all year - and we had a few breakdowns defensively, but I like the tempo we're playing."
Senior guard Nicole Rhem led South Carolina State with 21 points and eight rebounds. Also in double figures were sophomore forward Melaney Denson with 14 points and senior guard Latasha Cook with 10.
After their fast start, the Tar Heels pushed the lead into double digits for good when Atkinson hit a free throw with 9:52 remaining in the game to put UNC up 26-16. By halftime, Carolina led 49-25 behind very balanced scoring - seven UNC players scored between six and eight points in the first half.
After halftime, Carolina shot 76.5 percent (13-for-17) from the field to maintain its lead. For the game, UNC shot 50.8 percent, topping 50 percent shooting for the third time in the last four games. South Carolina State shot 31.7 percent (20-63) for the game.
Next up for UNC is a trip Norfolk, Va., to meet Old Dominion on Sunday at 2 p.m. South Carolina State, which came straight to Chapel Hill after playing at Liberty on Thursday night, gets a break before traveling to Coastal Carolina on Dec. 13.