MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored 24 points and No. 17 North Carolina pulled away in the second half to beat East Carolina 76-67 in the Beach Ball Classic.
Krista Gross had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Tar Heels (11-1), who trailed 32-31 at the half.
Whitny Edwards scored 15 points for the Pirates (8-3), Britny Edwards had 12 and Celeste Stewart 10.
The Tar Heels opened the second half with a 9-2 run, but East Carolina hung in, closing to 43-40 on Whitny Edwards' two free throws.
The Tar Heels' Danielle Butts made two free throws for a 53-44 advantage with 8:37 remaining.
Britny Edwards made two foul shots with 1:52 to go to close to 69-67, but a layup by Gross, a 3-pointer by Janesha Ebron and a trey by Ruffin-Pratt made it 74-67 with 41 seconds left.
North Carolina's loss was 102-57 to Tennessee on Dec. 2.