Kent State played North Carolina evenly for most of its opener Friday, but two minutes of furious action with about five minutes to go broke the game open for Carolina.
Final score was 73-60.
The Flashes led 52-50 with 5:16 to go and got the ball back on a turnover, then then turned it over themselves on an inbound play. North Carolina made two free throws and led 55-54 with 3:57 left.
Thirty seconds later, Tar Heel guard Paris Kea, a third-team preseason All-American, hit a three-pointer. was fouled, and made the free throw to put Carolina ahead 59-54. Forty seconds after that, KSU guard Asiah Dingle missed a three-point basket, dived after a long rebound and was called for a foul. Coach Todd Starkey was called for a technical protesting, and Carolina pulled away from there.
The Flashes trailed 25-14 after the first quarter, dominated North Carolina 21-11 in the second, then played the Tar Heels evenly until Key’s four-point play.
Junior guard Megan Carter led Kent State with 17 points. Dingle, senior guard Alexa Golden and freshman guard Hannah Young all had nine. Freshman forward Lindsey Thall and junior guard Ali Poole had seven points.
The Flashes held Carolina, which had scored 100 points in its opener against Elon, to 34 percent shooting and 25 percent from three-point distance.
KSU made 38 percent of its shots but 21 percent of its three-pointers.
Box score from North Carolina live statistics.
Full story with more detail and quotes form Starkey is upcoming.