CHAPEL HILL --- Tierra Ruffin-Pratt had 18 points and a career-high nine assists and North Carolina forced 36 turnovers as the No. 16 Tar Heels ran past East Tennessee State, 85-44, Friday afternoon at Carmichael Arena. UNC blew open the game with a 28-2 run that crossed halftime to improve to 12-1 ahead of Sunday's Atlantic Coast Conference opener at Clemson.
No Lady Bucs finished in double figures, but Destiny Mitchell had four points and a game-high 10 rebounds. ETSU (2-5) outrebounded Carolina 47-39 but could not overcome a tenacious defensive effort from the host Tar Heels.
A Brianna McQueen three-point play had ETSU within seven at 30-23 late in the first half before UNC started the decisive run.
Leading 41-25 at the break, Carolina poured it on early in the second half. Ruffin-Pratt had eight of her 18 in a span of 2:03 and ETSU made just two field goals in the first 10 minutes of the period. Buckland's final 3 of the day made it 58-25 and the Tar Heels never looked back.
All 12 healthy players scored for Carolina and none played more than 24 minutes as the ACC opener at Clemson looms in less than 48 hours.
That game at Clemson is set for a 2 p.m. tip. The Tar Heels are home again on Jan. 3 against No. 9 Maryland.