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No. 5 N. Carolina 77, St. John’s 67

November 27, 1998

HONOLULU (AP) _ North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell says her fifth-ranked Tar Heels beat St. John’s with their defense.

``Every time we had chances in the second half, we were flat and didn’t make good decisions,″ she said after North Carolina (6-0) defeated St. John’s 77-67 Friday in the first game of the Rainbow Wahine Basketball Classic. ``We missed the easy shots and let them get back in the game several times.

``They were playing us tight and we tried to spread it out more,″ Hatchell said of her second-half change of offense. ``It didn’t work.″

Chanel Wright scored a career-high 33 points and made 13 of 15 free throws in the second half to lead North Carolina.

Ebony Dickinson had 30 points and nine rebounds for St. John’s, which committed 23 turnovers.

St. John’s trailed 40-25 at halftime, but opened the second half with a 12-6 run and closed to 53-45 with 10 minutes left. Wright then scored five points to increase North Carolina’s lead, but both Dickinson and Ana Pericic hit 3-pointers to cut the margin to 59-53 with 7:30 left.

North Carolina then went on a 10-5 run, including 6-of-6 from the foul line, to make it 69-58.

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