Gray helps No. 17 North Carolina women rally past No. 7 Florida State 71-63



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CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina — Early in the second half, Allisha Gray was visibly frustrated as her No. 17 North Carolina team racked up foul after foul and a double-figure deficit.

After leading the Tar Heels to a come-from-behind 71-63 win against No. 7 Florida State on Thursday night, she looked far more relaxed.

"It actually made me angry, and I took it out on them in the second half," Gray said. "That gave me a boost, (the officials) calling all those little touchy fouls. It kind of lit a fire under me. . I didn't want to lose this game, period."

Gray scored 13 of her 22 points in the final six minutes and added 14 rebounds for the Tar Heels (20-5, 7-4 ACC), who snapped a nine-game FSU win streak.

Ivey Slaughter led the Seminoles (22-3, 9-2) with 15 points, but fouled out of the game with 3:33 remaining.

"When she went out, that really hurt us," FSU coach Sue Semrau said. "We had some confusion, and that's not like us."

Florida State led by 10 early in the second half, but UNC fought back and eventually tied it at 57 on Gray's 3-pointer with 4:20 remaining. That was during a stretch in which she scored eight straight points to give UNC a 62-61 lead.

The Seminoles, who shot 32.9 percent, managed just one field goal over the final three minutes.

Gray sealed the victory with a steal and layup with less than a minute remaining.

"She carries us lots of times," UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell said. "She can do that. She's just that kind of player. She's so level all the time. She's just rock solid. She makes up her mind about something and gets it done."

TIP-INS

Florida State: The Seminoles forced 22 UNC turnovers, marking the seventh time in their last 10 games -- and 15th time this year -- that an opponent has had 20 or more turnovers. The Tar Heels came in averaging their fewest turnovers per game since the 1995-96 season.

North Carolina: Stephanie Mavunga (11 points) and Brittany Rountree (10) were the only other Tar Heels in double figures. Forward Hillary Summers finished with a career-high nine points off the bench, eclipsing her previous career high of six points with six minutes to go in the first half.

COURTSIDE

Before the game, North Carolina held a moment of silence to honor Hall of Fame former UNC men's basketball coach Dean Smith, who died Saturday at age 83, as well as the three Muslim students who were shot and killed near campus Tuesday in a story that has garnered national attention.

PIVOTAL MOMENT

With the game tied at 59, Gray was out of control driving to the basket and crashed into FSU's Slaughter, who spent a good portion of the second half on the bench with foul trouble. Slaughter was called for the block and fouled out with 3:33 remaining. Gray gave the Tar Heels the lead for good 27 seconds later.

UP NEXT

Florida State: visits Virginia on Sunday.

North Carolina: visits Louisville on Sunday.

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