Last Sunday it was Paulina Paris going on an 11-9 individual run to create a seven-point lead for the No. 22 North Carolina Tar Heels with 5:42 remaining against then-No. 4 Notre Dame. This Sunday, it was Destiny Adams going on an 8-5 individual run to create a seven-point lead with 1:31 remaining against the No. 11 NC State Wolfpack en route to a 56-47 victory at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill.
It was back-and-forth all afternoon; Adams had the final say with her left-corner dagger three at 1:31 after which the Pack never got closer. A combined 4-of-4 effort from Kennedy Todd-Williams and Alyssa Ustby at the stripe over the remainder of the contest sealed the deal. Ustby hauled in a whopping 18 rebounds in the win, while Todd-Williams notched a game-high 15 points.
Adams’ first left-corner three was answered by a Diamond Johnson three for NC State and her layup at 3:20 remaining was answered by a Camille Hobby layup. In both cases, the Pack cut it back to a four-point deficit. But they didn’t silence the energy in the building that Adams built up and they couldn’t answer her a third time.
Todd-Williams missed an opportunity to potentially spark a big UNC run late in the third. She made a three to tie the game at 31 and then stole the ball on the ensuing NC State possession, but missed a transition mid-range shot that didn’t even hit rim. She would get the crowd going again though and make good on a play in transition early in the fourth. She poked the ball away from Jakia Brown-Turner near mid-court and then the two players stumbled down the court, fighting for the ball. Todd-Williams gained control of it just in time to put a layup in. She drew a foul on the play as well and made the free throw to make it 36-34 Heels.
Ustby stole the ball on the ensuing possession and that led to two Todd-Williams freebies that made it 38-34 with 8:18 to play.
Paris would make a three that pushed the UNC lead to 42-37. Then, after a Madison Hayes three for NC State, Paris used her off hand to make a difficult contested layup that just barely rolled in and made it 44-40 Heels with 4:27 left. Adams’ 8-5 run ensued.
Through three quarters, NC State’s largest lead was four and UNC’s largest lead was three. There were 30 total made shots in those quarters, including free throws. Twenty-two of them either tied the game, broke a tie or caused a lead change.
Ustby added nine points, four assists and two steals to her stat line. UNC leading scorer Deja Kelly was held to five points on 2-of-13 shooting from the field. Adams’ scoring was all done on the 8-5 run; she was 2-of-3 from deep in the game and grabbed nine boards.
Johnson, NC State’s leading scorer, was held to eight points on 3-of-13 shooting from the field. Brown-Turner finished with 14 points, four rebounds and three assists, while Hobby had 13 points and six boards.
The Heels improved to 12-5 (3-3 ACC), while the Pack fell to 13-5 (3-4 ACC).