"We had good balance and played good team basketball," UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell said. "We started strong defensively and were able to create offense with our defense. We*re trying to do things now that will help us when we get to conference play."
Senior guard Nikki Teasley led UNC (4-1) with 23 points on 8-for-10 shooting in 17 minutes of play. She drained a three on the Tar Heels' first possession, one of four she hit in five attempts, to spark the team to a 20-2 run to start the game. Junior guard Coretta Brown scored 21 points and added eight rebounds with eight assists in 21 minutes on the court.
Freshman forward Nikita Bell was 8-for-11 from the field for a career-high 18 points in 17 minutes of play. Also in double figures were Kenya McBee (11 points), Courtney Chambers (10) and Chrystal Baptist (10). The totals were career highs for Chambers, a sophomore, and McBee, a freshman.
Baptist led UNC on the boards with 10 for her second double-double of the season as the Tar Heels outrebounded the Lady Bison 65-30. Sophomore guard Essence Coggins led Howard (1-2) with 11 points.
UNC had 31 assists, led by freshman Leah Metcalf's 11. Bell's six steals paced Carolina to a total of 22. The Tar Heels shot 58.8 percent from the floor, 53.8 from three-point range.
With 117 points, UNC was four short of tying its all-time high of 121, scored against Mercer in 1985. Friday's total was Carolina's highest score since setting that record and marked the second time this season that the Tar Heels have scored 100 points.
In their second game of the Winthrop Lady Eagle Classic, the Tar Heels will take on host Winthrop Saturday at 5 p.m. Winthrop was 0-1 heading into its matchup with Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday evening. Howard and Fairleigh Dickinson will face off at 3 p.m. in Saturday's first game.
For UNC, the weekend's games are a return to the facility where the Tar Heels won ACC Championships in 1994 and '95. The '94 title was the first of four at Carolina for Hatchell, who also has fond memories of the Winthrop Coliseum from her days as the head coach at Francis Marion. "When we had a chance to come back here for these games, I didn't think twice about it," she said. "It's a great facility for women's basketball and the people here are outstanding."