North Carolina regroups from tough loss, rolls over FSU

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Coming off its first loss, No. 2 North Carolina regained its winning form -- if not its top form.

Ivory Latta scored 21 points and the Tar Heels shook off 28 turnovers in an 80-59 win over Florida State on Monday night.

"Coming off a loss we were very emotional and coach got us fired up for this game," Latta said. "We needed this win."

North Carolina, which lost four days ago to top-ranked Duke, shot 55.1 percent from the field and made 20 of 23 free throws in Monday's victory.

"It's good to get back on the winning track," North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell said.

The Tar Heels (25-1, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) jumped to a 30-10 lead with 5:44 left in the half, taking no chances in their first visit to Florida State since a 2005 overtime loss to the Seminoles.

"We couldn't go a whole practice without coach saying 'seniors remember you lost down there, right?" said Latta, who was 7-for-13 from the floor, including 3-for-7 from 3-point range.

Despite shooting just 25 percent from the floor in the first half, Florida State narrowed its deficit to 36-26 at the break but could never get closer in the ragged contest that featured 51 turnovers.

The Tar Heels 17-4 run way in the second half gave them a 53-30 lead and they twice were up by as many as 25 points.

"The used their athleticism very, very well," Florida State coach Sue Semrau said.

Erlana Larkins finished with 16 points, Rashanda McCants 13 and LaToya Pringle and Camille Little 11 apiece for North Carolina, which jumped to a 15-4 lead as Florida State missed 13 of its first 14 shots.

"We got good shots and couldn't knock 'em down," Semrau said. "We settled for a lot of outside shots."

Larkins was 8-for-9 from the floor and had a game-high nine rebounds, but also committed nine turnovers.

"The turnovers, especially in the half court, just feeding the post," Hatchell said. "We'll keep working and we'll get better.".

Semrau said she was worried about the Tar Heels motivation after losing to Duke.

"A loss always makes your heart a little softer and your ears a little bigger," Semrau said.

Mara Freshour's 12 points led the Seminoles (18-7, 7-3), who shot just 30.4 percent in the game and committed 23 turnovers in the rag-tag game.

"There's nothing you can do if they don't fall," Freshour said.