Kelly, Ustby lead No. 20 North Carolina women to 81-68 victory against stubborn Virginia

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Deja Kelly scored 27 points, Alyssa Ustby had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 20 North Carolina held off upset-minded Virginia 81-68 on Sunday.

Kelly scored all of North Carolina's points in a mini 9-5 run that kept the Tar Heels ahead by eight points with under 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Olivia McGhee hit a couple of free throws and added a 3-pointer in a 10-2 Virginia run that tied the score at 52-all with 28 seconds left. Ustby hit a free throw to give North Carolina a 53-52 lead heading to the fourth quarter.

The Tar Heels honored their 1994 national championship team between the third and fourth quarters then went out and scored the first five points of the final period. But timely 3-pointers by McGee and Kymora Johnson kept Virginia close, Johnson's 3 getting the Cavaliers within 65-61 with 5 minutes remaining.

Kelly hit a jumper for North Carolina, then a missed 3-pointer and a turnover on Virginia's next two possessions led to a nine-point Tar Heels lead with just under 4 minutes to go. Anya Poole went 3 for 4 at the line in the next 1 1/2 minutes for a 12-point lead. The Tar Heels made eight straight free throws in the final 1:09 to close out the win.

Kelly shot 8 for 17, made four 3-pointers and added seven free throws in eight attempts. She also had five rebounds, five assists and two steals. Ustby had five assists and three steals for the Tar Heels (12-5, 4-1 ACC).

Camryn Taylor scored 16 points, Johnson 13, McGhee 12 and London Clarkson 10 for Virginia (8-8, 0-5).

North Carolina led 19-12 after one quarter and went up by 14 early in the second. The Tar Heels were still up by 12 after Kelly hit a 3-pointer for a 37-25 lead near the 3-minute mark. Virginia then rallied and outscored North Carolina 7-0 over the final minutes of the half to get within 37-32 at the break.

North Carolina plays at Georgia Tech on Thursday and Virginia hosts Notre Dame, also on Thursday.

___ Get alerts and updates on AP Top 25 basketball throughout the season. Sign up here ___ AP women’s college basketball: and