SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Patrice Holmes scored 18 points,
including two free throws with 8.3 seconds left, to lead Middle
Tennessee State to a 67-62 victory Sunday over No. 12 North
Carolina in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
This was just the second NCAA Tournament victory in nine
attempts for the 13th-seeded Lady Raiders, who play Tuesday against
host Notre Dame. The Irish (20-1) beat Southwest Missouri State
69-65 in overtime Sunday. North Carolina lost in the first round of
the tournament for the first time since 1985.
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Krystle Horton had 16 points for Middle Tennessee, Keisha
McClinic had 13 points and nine rebounds and Tia Stovall added 12
points and six rebounds. Camille Little led the fourth-seeded Tar Heels with 19 points
and Bell finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. The Lady Raiders (24-7) led 60-48 with 6:30 left, but Jessica
Bell scored a pair of rebound baskets to spark a 10-0 run by the
Tar Heels (24-7). Fourth-seeded North Carolina cut the lead to
60-58 when Kenya McBee hit two free throws with 3:44 left. North Carolina had a chance to tie the score at 64, but 6-foot-6
center Candace Sutton missed from underneath. McClinic hit a free
throw to give the Lady Raiders a three-point lead. Ivory Latta then
missed a 17-footer for North Carolina and Bell failed on a
3-pointer as the Tar Heels were 0-of-13 on 3-pointers. Holmes then made the clinching foul shots for Middle Tennessee
State, which was 14-of-15 from the line. The Tar Heels outrebounded the Lady Raiders 46-37 and outscored
them inside 48-34, but they couldn't overcome their 17 turnovers.
Middle Tennessee scored 20 points off North Carolina's turnovers,
while North Carolina had only 10 points off 14 turnovers by Middle
Tennessee State. After jumping to a 9-2 lead, Middle Tennessee went ahead 18-17
on a layup by Stovall with 7:59 left in the first half. The Lady
Raiders led the rest of the way, including 35-26 at halftime.