Stopping UNC rookie DeShields a tough task

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“I think I’d see what kind of day she’s having - is she having a Tennessee-Martin day or a Michigan State day?” Close said. “I think you have to pick something with her. If I thought she was really hitting her jumper, … I’d probably designate one person that that would be her only job, to faceguard her and try to deny touches before she even gets it and make her work harder to get those kind of touches.

“If she’s having a good night, you’re going to have a tough time. At the same time, if you can make her work extremely hard even to touch the ball, maybe over the course of time you can slow her down.”

Besides, that defensive attention opens up DeShields’ teammates, like when fellow freshman Allisha Gray scored a season-high 30 points with six 3-pointers in UNC’s win at UCLA.

At this point, DeShields - who is averaging 20.5 points in her last 12 games - is ready for anything.

“If you have to defend me, it’s mental and you’ve just got to be ready,” DeShields said. “I’ll throw curve balls, it’s not just going to be the same pitch. You’ve just got to stay on your toes.”


AP Sports Writer Pete Iacobelli in Columbia, S.C., contributed to this report.


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