- Associated Press - Sunday, February 2, 2014

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Even after forcing 21 turnovers, North Carolina’s players were left shaking their heads about the things they were unable to do on defense.

Miami shot 57 percent to overcome its offensive mistakes and beat the No. 6 Tar Heels 83-80 on Sunday. It was the first time this season North Carolina has lost consecutive games.

“We’re known for playing defense,” said Xylina McDaniel, who scored 18 points for UNC. “For us to not really have that great of a defensive game, that really hurt us.”

Despite coming in with the ACC’s top shooting-percentage defense, North Carolina (17-5, 5-3) fell behind by 19 points early while Miami (12-10, 4-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) looked unstoppable during a 22-4 first-half run. The Hurricanes came into the game 13th in the league in shooting.

“We see the potential with things like 21 turnovers,” UNC guard Danielle Butts said. “Imagine if we could communicate and be on target and be in the right position at the right time. Who knows how many turnovers they could have had if we’d been on point on defense? It shows how good a defensive team we can be, but it’s the little things we’ve got to capitalize on.”

North Carolina had trouble taking advantage of its size at the offensive end as well, grabbing 28 offensive rebounds but converting them into only 24 points. The Tar Heels shot 37 percent and also missed 15 free throws.

Adrienne Motley scored a career-high 27 points for Miami, including a series of key jump shots late in the second half.

Keyona Hayes added 14 points, including a crucial second-chance layup with a minute to go, for the Hurricanes, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

“It’s taken a long while, but I like my talent,” Miami coach Katie Meier said. “It’s just a matter of there are certain things we need to do to win a basketball game. If we score 83, we’re going to win a lot of basketball games.”

Diamond DeShields also had 18 points for the Tar Heels, but shot 8 for 24 from the field. UNC managed just one field goal in seven minutes during that stretch.

UNC went on a 15-2 run to close the first half and briefly took the lead in the opening minutes of the second half but couldn’t overcome Motley’s hot shooting.

North Carolina honored its 1994 national championship team at halftime to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the program’s only title. Head coach Sylvia Hatchell, who has missed the entire season while being treated for leukemia, joined her team for the ceremony.



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