All of that hay the Seminoles laid in the paint buried the Tar Heels on Thursday in Carmichael Arena.
Florida State, No. 6 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll, had a 44-24 scoring margin in the post and beat North Carolina 90-77.
And all of those UNC turnovers — they were accumulating like the snow that’s supposed to hit here hours from now.
The Tar Heels actually shot a solid percentage from the field. They made 27 of 55 attempts. That’s knocking down shots at a 49-percent clip.
It’s just that the Seminoles were wearing out the Tar Heels down low.
Late in the game, UNC played good defense and forced Brittany Brown to heave the ball at the rim. She missed. But nobody boxed out out Chatrice White, who turned the rebound into a point-blank bucket.
This season, the Tar Heels finally have the personnel to really push the ball up the floor the way UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell likes her teams doing it.
“We pretty much do have, like, four point guards on the court at all times,” UNC sophomore Destinee Walker said.
But UNC had just five fast-break points against Florida State. The Seminoles had eight that way, and it’s not as simple as UNC wearing out Florida State, because that squad is not just a bunch of lugs, UNC sophomore Stephanie Watts said.
“They are big and can move pretty well,” Watts said.
Butterfingers began troubling the Tar Heels in the first period. They lost the ball seven times. The Seminoles cashed them for six points.
When the final horn sounded, the Tar Heels had 18 turnovers.
Watts was slow out of the gate. She showed up to the gym leading the Tar Heels with 19.6 points per game and was the No. 2 scorer in the Atlantic Coast Conference behind the 23.3 points per game Alexis Peterson was giving Syracuse. The Seminoles (14-2, 2-1 ACC) were making Watts work for good-looking shots. She got it going, though, and finished the game with 19 points.
Walker scored 16 points.
In the first half, Watts made good on a clean look from behind the arc. The 3-pointer got UNC (11-4, 0-2 ACC) within six points of the Seminoles’ lead.
But Florida State’s Imani Wright was having a night. Her 3 helped the Seminoles take a 10-point lead into halftime. She had 13 points in the first half, and finished with 22.
In the second half, Florida State coach Sue Semrau put Kai James in the game. She’s the sister of “Big” Joel James, who wrapped up his men’s basketball career at UNC last season. Kai James has a little size, too, at 6 feet 5 inches tall, and can move. She leaned on the Tar Heels for a couple of field goals in four minutes of work.
UNC loves to shoot 3s, and it would have been tough for Kai James to defend the perimeter, so that’s why she didn’t play more, Semrau said.
“We have a lot of respect for Carolina, especially their 3-point shooting game,” Semrau said.
The Tar Heels made 9 of 20 3s, a 45-percent hit rate.
“Our perimeter game is excellent,” Hatchell said.
Her team’s just too little.
“We don’t have that much size,” Hatchell said.
Herald-Sun sports writer John McCann is @johntmccann on Twitter or 919-419-6601