GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Alyssa Ustby scored 15 points with six rebounds, four assists and two steals and 18th-ranked North Carolina, the seventh-seed, pulled away from Clemson for a 68-58 win the second round of the ACC Tournament on Thursday.
The Tar Heels (21-9) now face 13th-ranked and second-seeded Duke on Friday in the quarterfinals. The teams met last Sunday with North Carolina rallying for a 45-41 win.
Deja Kelly scored 14 points, Eva Hodgson 13 and Kennedy Todd-Williams 12 for the balanced Tar Heels, who kept the Tigers at bay despite entering the fourth quarter with a seven-point lead and Kelly and Ustby with four fouls each.
Amari Robinson tied her career high with 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting for the Tigers (17-15).
North Carolina was just 7 of 14 from the foul line in the fourth quarter but Clemson was 5-of-14 shooting and had five turnovers, making it hard to make up ground.
The Tar Heels led 24-19 after one quarter and were up just 29-26 after Ruby Whitehorn hit a 3-pointer for Clemson less than four minutes into the second quarter. Kelly answered with a 3 for North Carolina and on the Tigers’ next possession Robinson, who had 17 points, was called for an offensive foul, her third. Clemson went over four minutes without scoring and fell behind by a dozen.
It was 40-32 at the half and the Tigers were down 14 in the third quarter before scoring the last seven points to pull within 53-46.