Women drop Harvard, 85-58

The Tar Heel women advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 85-58 win over Harvard on Saturday night at Carmichael Auditorium. UNC will face Minnesota in the second round on Monday. <i>IC</i>'s Michael Tompkins reports from Chapel Hill ...

CHAPEL HILL -- As Nikki Teasley ran back down court, she looked over to Coach Sylvia Hatchell and said, "Coretta's feeling it." Coach Hatchell responded in the only way a good coach should, "Just get her the ball."

Coretta Brown was indeed feeling it Saturday evening at Carmichael Auditorium as she notched a new career high, and Harvard was stuck with trying to contain her and the rest of her teammates.

Brown notched 28 points and sat out the last six minutes of the game because of the Heels' commanding lead. Jennifer Thomas added a season-high 18 points as the No. 4-seeded North Carolina women's basketball team defeated No. 13 Harvard in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament, 85-58.

"I was definitely feeling it," said Brown. "We hadn't had a game in so long. I was anxious to just get out there."

Harvard kept the game close for the first team minutes of the game, until a Teasley to Thomas connection boosted the lead to 17-14. That connection of Teasley to Thomas became unstoppable and yielded positive results for Carolina all game long.

Next time down court, Brown hit a jumper and started to get rolling. From Brown's jumper the Heels mounted a 17-2 run that started with eight minutes to go in the first half. The lead was sparked by a pair of three-pointers from Brown.

At half the Heels led 42-24 thanks to the hot hand of Brown and defense that stifled Harvard's offense, limiting them to 32 percent shooting. Ivy League Player of the Year, Hana Peljto, was held to 1-for-7 shooting in the first half. Peljto finished the game with 13 points.

"What they did to us defensively was more troubling than anything they did offensively," said Harvard head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith.

The second half proved to be more of the same as Teasley connected again with Thomas giving the Heels a 46-27 lead.

"My obligation is to dish the ball," said the always-unselfish Teasley who finished the game with eight points, six rebounds and 11 assists despite struggling shooting the ball. She shot 2-for-9, including 2-for-7 from three-point land, while turning the ball over only four times.

Candace Sutton added 13 points, two blocks and six rebounds to aid the inside attack as Brown lit up the scoreboard from the outside. Harvard's leading scorer was Raka Cserny who finished with 16 points, six of those came in the second half.

"Harvard really gave us a battle," said coach Hatchell even though the Heels seeming dominated both halves of play on the scoreboard. Carolina held Harvard to 24 and 34 points in each half, while scoring 42 and 43.

Coach Hatchell said that she was impressed with the way her team played and is looking forward to the match-up Monday night against No. 5 seed Minnesota. Minnesota defeated No. 12 UNLV, 71-54, in the first game of the day at Carmichael.

"I think that is going to be a fabulous game on Monday night," said Harvard coach Delaney-Smith. "I think (Minnesota) has the athletes."

Monday's game will be televised on ESPN2 at 6:30 p.m.

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