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Coleman scores 19 as No. 11 UNC beats No. 5 Stanford 70-54

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HONOLULU — The disappointment was evident in Tara VanDerveer's voice following Stanford's 70-54 loss to North Carolina Friday.

The fifth-ranked Cardinal (3-2) fell to the 11th-ranked Tar Heels (5-0) in in an opening-round game of the Rainbow Wahine Shootout. It was their second loss in three games after a 33-4 record and a national semifinal appearance after a Final Four run that included a nine-point win over North Carolina in the Elite Eight round.

"I was disappointed in our effort," VanDerveer said of her team. "First of all I think that North Carolina has an excellent team. They have a lot of weapons, they have a great inside game and they shot really well from the outside. They were hitting perimeter shots and had a solid inside-outside game going. I think they really exposed us in a lot of ways."

Latifah Coleman scored a career-high 19 points and Xylina McDaniel added 15 and Stephanie Mavunga added 10 points with eight rebounds for North Carolina.

Coleman, a senior guard, also had six rebounds and six assists. She made 7 of her 12 shots from the field, including 4 of 6 on 3-pointers, and scored 14 of her points in the second half.

North Carolina shot 61 percent (17 of 28) from the field in the second half.

Lili Thompson scored 11 of her 15 points in the second half to lead Stanford, which shot just 31 percent (17 of 55) from the field for the game.

Stanford had a season-low scoring output and was held well below their season average of 83.8 points per game.

Both teams struggled shooting the ball in the first half. Stanford was made just 6 of its 30 shots from the field (20 percent), while North Carolina shot 9 of 36 (25 percent), including 4 of 17 on 3-pointers.

The Tar Heels never trailed in the game and led by as many as 22 points late in the second half following a 3-pointer by Coleman from the left wing and a putback by Mavunga two possessions later to cap a 23-6 run.

Late in the first half, Stanford cut it to 19-18 on a coast-to-coast layup by Thompson, but went scoreless in the final 3:16 of the half. North Carolina closed out the first half on an 8-2 run and held a 24-18 lead at halftime.

PHOTO: Stanford guard Amber Orrange, left, tries to wrestle the ball away from North Carolina guard Jessica Washington (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Stanford guard Amber Orrange, left, tries to wrestle the ball away from North Carolina guard Jessica Washington (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

"Our defense in the second half wasn't as good — our defense in the first half was better," VanDerveer said. "Our offense was very stagnant and we just need more people contributing. We don't have much of an inside game right now, which we have to work on. We weren't moving the ball as well as needed to and we were flat and we can't play that way."

TIP-INS:

Stanford: Thompson entered the game averaging 26 points, which ranks her ninth nationally, but she missed her first nine shots from the field. It wasn't until the 3:41 mark in the first half that she scored her first points on a pair of free throws.

North Carolina: Mavunga and Gray each grabbed eight rebounds to help the Tar Heels outrebound the Cardinal 47-32, including an 18-12 edge in offensive boards.

RANK AND FILE:

It was the third game against a ranked opponent in the last four games for both teams. Stanford beat then-No. 1 Connected 88-86 in overtime on Nov. 17, but lost to No. 10 Texas 87-71 three days later. North Carolina beat 23rd-ranked UCLA 84-68 on Nov. 19 and followed that up with a 79-77 win over Oklahoma State three days later. "We're the only team in the county that is 5-0 and has beaten three ranked teams," Hatchell said.

RETURN TRIP:

Stanford returned to Honolulu for the first time since 2012, when it played in the Rainbow Wahine Classic. The highlight of that trip was a 71-69 win over then-No. 1 Baylor, which snapped the Bears' 42-game winning streak.

A FIRST FOR EVERYTHING:

North Carolina notched its first win over Stanford in program history. The Tar Heels were 0-3 against the Cardinal all-time.

UP NEXT:

Stanford takes on tournament-host Hawaii Saturday.

North Carolina plays Prairie View A&M Saturday.

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