CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina powered past Carson-Newman 106-29 in the Tar Heels' first exhibition game of the season Sunday in Carmichael Arena.
Senior Waltiea Rolle drew a foul in the opening minute of the game and made both free throws to give UNC a lead it would not relinquish. The Tar Heels dominated the Eagles on 48.8 shooting and reached triple digits with less than four minutes to go on a free throw by forward Whitney Adams.
A stifling Carolina defense held Carson-Newman to just one point - a made free throw - in the first seven minutes of the game. The Eagles then sunk another free throw but would not score again until Courdne Miles hit a jumper in the 10th minute of the game.
UNC used pockets of a full-court press and multiple double teams to hold the Eagles to just seven points in the first half. Five of those points came from free throws, as the Eagles shot just 3.8 percent.
Though the Eagles finished the game shooting 16.4 percent, UNC's strong defensive effort carried into the second half.
As a team, Carolina tallied 28 steals over the course of the win and scored 44 points off turnovers. The Tar Heels also pressured the Eagles on the glass, outrebounding Carson-Newman 63-37.
Rolle added a solid contribution with three blocks. The senior center also chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds on the offensive end, as the Tar Heels dominated inside to score 56 points in the paint.
It was senior Krista Gross, though, who led UNC's offense. Gross reached double-digit points by the end of the first half and finished with a double-double off the bench from 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Carolina also benefited from efficient 20 points off fast-break scoring in the second half, from guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt in particular.
Ruffin-Pratt scored on the fast break on back-to-back possessions after stealing the ball twice in a row. The senior finished the game with 14 points, the second highest on the team, and four assists.
Rounding out UNC's balanced effort, in which six Tar Heels scored double-digit points, starting forward Xylina McDaniel contributed 12 points and nine rebounds. Guards Brittany Rountree and N'Dea Bryant both added 11 points of their own.
Shyra Brown led Carson-Newman's offensive effort with nine points.
The Tar Heels will continue their exhibition play Thursday against Wingate at 7 p.m. in Carmichael Arena.