Carolina rolls over Seminoles, 93-63

CHAPEL HILL -- Nikki Teasley scored 22 points and led the University of North Carolina Tar Heels to an easy 93-63 victory over the visiting Florida State Seminoles Monday at Carmichael Auditorium.

Carolina showed they had too much talent for the Seminoles from the opening tip to the final horn, as they only trailed once at 5-4. After trading baskets for the first few possessions, the Tar Heels turned up the defensive pressure.

With 17 minutes remaining in the first half North Carolina led only by two at 9-7. Nikki Teasley's three-point shot ignited the Heels, and the rout was on.

North Carolina's suffocating full-court defense and lights out shooting frustrated Florida State during a seven minute span that ended with the Heels leading 37-11 with 7:50 remaining in the first half.

"We picked up our intensity on defense [during the run] and our defense helps out our offense. We just played at a different level," said Jennifer Thomas, who scored a season high 12 points and added eight rebounds.

"Carolina did a great job of jumping on us early," said FSU head coach Sue Semrau. "That has happened to us a lot the last couple of games."

Teasley continued her fine play with 11 points and five assists throughout the first half as North Carolina entered the break up 49-24 on the Seminoles.

The second half proved to be more Carolina pressure, as the Heels' defense gave the Seminoles fits. The Heels forced 19 Florida State turnovers, 12 of which were Carolina steals. Leah Metcalf led the Heels in the game with five steals.

With 13:09 left in the second half, Carolina was up 64-34. From there on out it was easy pickings as Coach Sylvia Hatchell's team cruised to a 93-63 victory.

This game marked the third-consecutive victory for the Heels since losing at Duke on January 24. A key to the turnaround has been Nikki Teasley's play at point guard. In her last two games Teasley has recorded only two turnovers and shot 10-of-14 from beyond the arc. Teasley set her season high for assists with nine.

"This is the best I've seen her all year," said Semrau about Teasley, "hats off to her and Carolina."

When asked about the turnaround and her play of late, Teasley said, "We were tired of losing [after the Duke game]. We weren't playing Carolina basketball. We had to pick it up."

Jennifer Thomas agreed, "After the Duke game [Teasley] took more of a vocal leadership role. When our senior shows she isn't gonna accept [losing], we aren't either."

Carrie Davis also played well, scoring a career-high seven points in the rout. Coretta Brown added 18 points to the Heels' victory.

"We wanted to start strong," said Hatchell. "We are trying to play with intensity. A key has just been us settling. Settling Nikki at point has been good for us. We are taking better shots, and just playing with more intensity."

North Carolina (7-4, 17-6) will look to keep the intensity level up and continue their current winning streak Wednesday night at 7 p.m. against Villanova in Carmichael Auditorium.

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