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Latta imposes will on Irish; Tar Heels avoid upset

Mar 21, 2007 - 5:11 AM PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Senior leadership is priceless in the NCAA Tournament. North Carolina had Ivory Latta and Notre Dame didn't.

Latta scored 16 of her 17 points in the second half, all from the free-throw line, as top-seeded North Carolina held off upset-minded Notre Dame, 60-51, in a second-round Dallas Region contest.

LaToya Pringle scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Tar Heels (32-3), who will play fifth-seeded George Washington in the region semifinals on Sunday.

Latta got to the free-throw line eight times during the second half and scored the Tar Heels' final 12 points from the line.

Charel Allen hit 4-of-6 from the arc and scored 21 points for the ninth-seeded Irish (20-12), who were 2-0 all-time against the Tar Heels.

Notre Dame led by as many as eight points with just under 13 minutes to play, but North Carolina went on a 17-4 run to take a 50-45 lead with three minutes left. Latta then iced the game from the line.

The Tar Heels' shot 14-of-15 from the line in the second half and held the Irish to just 9-of-30 shooting in the second half. Carolina held Notre Dame scoreless for six minutes during its decisive run.