Freshman Diamond DeShields had 24 points and a season-high 12 rebounds to help North Carolina beat Michigan State 62-53 on Tuesday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Fellow rookie Allisha Gray added 10 points for the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (26-9), who led by nine at halftime then dominated the opening minutes of the second half to turn the game into a rout. North Carolina ran off 14 straight points to blow the game open, with DeShields scoring twice during that flurry to build a 57-31 lead with 11½ minutes left that allowed the Tar Heels to coast to the Stanford Regional's round of 16.
The Tar Heels pressured the fifth-seeded Spartans (23-10) and turned the game into the up-and-down pace they wanted. They finished with a 17-4 edge in fast-break points and 15 points off turnovers in a huge improvement from their first-round struggles against UT Martin.