Ranked 13th nationally this week, Carolina (13-3, 1-1 ACC) used a 24-2 first-half run to propel past the Wolfpack after falling behind by as many as 10 points a little less than eight minutes into the game.
Diamond DeShields scored 10 of her game-high 21 points in the run that put the Tar Heels up 45-29 at the break. UNC held a double digit lead for a majority of the second half, but did allow NC State to claw back to within five points on three occasions before closing out the win, 79-70.
Turning the attention to Sunday. The Seminoles, 14-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACC, are the third-straight top 20 ranked opponent that the Tar Heels will face to open league play.
FSU went on the road Thursday and earned a 68-63 win over in-state league foe Miami. Natasha Howard scored 27 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in the victory. She leads FSU and ranks among the conference leaders in scoring (18.6), rebounding (9.1), blocks (38) and field goal shooting (64.1%).
Carolina and Florida State have split the last six meetings in Tallahassee dating back to 2004-05. Despite a career-high 25 points from Xylina McDaniel, UNC lost 80-73 at Florida State in the second of two meetings last season between the two clubs on Feb. 17, 2013 at the Tucker Center.
The Tar Heels return home to the friendly confines of Carmichael Arena on Thursday for another exciting "Throwback Thursday" event against Clemson. #TBTUNC features 1/2 price concessions and much, much more.
Tip off against the Tigers is set for 6 p.m., on ESPN3.