TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Jessica Breland came off the bench Wednesday and scored 16 of her game-high 22 points in the second half while teammate Waltiea Rolle was perfect on 12 free throws and finished with 18 points, leading 15th-ranked North Carolina to an 84-75 win over No. 19 Florida State.
The Tar Heels (20-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) shot 50 percent from the floor and made 22 of 25 free throws
Cetera Degraffenreid added 14 points and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt 11 for North Carolina, which snapped a two-game losing streak to the Seminoles.
Freshman Natasha Howard and Chelsea Davis scored 15 points each for Florida State (18-5, 6-2 ACC) while Cierra Bravard and Courtney Ward added 11 apiece. Howard had a game-high eight rebounds.
The Tar Heels rallied from a 29-22 deficit midway through the opening half to take a 43-41 lead on Ruffin-Pratt's layup as the halftime buzzer sounded. North Carolina scored the first seven points after the break, completing a 28-12 run and taking a 50-41 lead.
The Seminoles climbed back within two points twice late in the game. The first time at 66-64 on Davis' two free throws with 5:05 left before Breland countered with a jumper, and finally with 3:01 left on Courtney Ward's 3-point shot that was answered by a Ruffin-Pratt layup.
Breland, who hadn't played in two weeks because of minor knee surgery, made 10 of 17 shots. She was 7 of 11 in the second half while Rolle was 3 for 5 from the floor to accompany her perfect showing at the free throw line.
Florida State was 9 of 12 in free throws and outrebounded 42-32 — including 25-14 in the second half.
The Seminoles were trying to beat North Carolina for the third straight time, something they have never achieved. The loss drops them two games back of Duke and damages their chances for getting a share of the league title for the third straight year.