CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Freshman Diamond DeShields scored 16 points to help No. 12 North Carolina beat Air Force 87-26 in the opener for both teams.
Fellow rookie Stephanie Mavunga added 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Tar Heels (1-0), who were without recently inducted Naismith Hall of Fame coach Sylvia Hatchell as she focuses on treatment for leukemia. With longtime assistant Andrew Calder in charge, UNC dominated from the tip by holding Air Force (0-1) to two baskets in the first half to take a 41-9 lead at the break.
It was a strong debut for the Tar Heels' heralded recruiting class, ranked No. 1 nationally by ESPN. DeShields led that effort by shooting 8 for 15 with four steals in what amounted to a tuneup ahead of Monday's visit by No. 4 Tennessee.
Jimi Blagowsky scored seven to lead the Falcons, who shot just 14 percent (7 for 50) and had 30 turnovers.