Carolina (7-2) picked up its first win over a ranked team this year and improves to 5-2 in the series with the Big Ten, including a perfect 4-0 record at home.
McDaniel was 11-of-15 from the floor and added eight rebounds in her best game of the season. Freshmen Allisha Gray and Diamond DeShields contributed with 14 and 11 points, respectively for the Tar Heels.
Nebraska (6-2) dropped its second-straight game despite four starters in double figures. All-America candidate Jordan Hooper scored 18 points on 7-of-19 shooting. Rachel Theriot had 12 points, followed by 11 points from Tear'a Laudermill and 10 from Hailie Sample.
Trailing 16-7 after the Huskers' fourth three-pointer in the opening four minutes of the game, a 23-6 run put Carolina up 30-23 on a bucket from Gray with 4:54 to go.
McDaniel increased the advantage to 40-28 with 1:15 on the clock, before Carolina went into the locker room with a 40-30 lead.
Laudermill cut the Huskers deficit to six, 44-38, in the second half, but eight-straight points from the Tar Heels swung the advantage back to a 52-38 lead after a three-pointer from Brittany Rountree.
Nebraska never got any closer than nine points over the final 11:51. Gray's three-pointer in the corner made it a double-digit lead the remaining seven minutes.
The lead grew to 75-58 on McDaniel's final bucket of the game at the 2:17 mark.
Carolina shot 48.5 percent from the field, while the Cornhuskers were limited to 39.3 percent from the floor.
The Tar Heels held a 40-33 rebounding advantage and came up with 13 steals, including a team-leading four from Gray.
North Carolina begins final exams later this week and will host Charleston Southern on Dec. 14 at 1 p.m.