[ACC WOMEN] Getting a career game from junior forward Courtney Jones and boosted by the return of Preseason All-Americans Ali Hawkins and Rachel Givan from injuries, North Carolina moved into the lead in the ACC with a 5-3 win at Duke on Thursday night that sets up a wild finale to the 2010 regular season on Sunday.
Jones had a career-high seven points with the second hat trick of her career, while freshman sensation Kealia Ohai scored her team-high 12th goal of the season in the win.
Hawkins, who had two assists off the bench in 45 minutes of action, played for the first time since the Sept. 26 game against Virginia Tech. Givan came off the bench to play 37 minutes, her first appearance since the Florida State game on Oct. 14.
The Tar Heels' win combined with No. 3 Maryland's 2-1 victory over No. 8 Florida State moved them into first place in the ACC, two points ahead of Maryland, Florida State and No. 7 Virginia, a 2-1 winner over N.C. State.
UNC can capture its 21st regular-season title in 24 years with a win at Wake Forest on Sunday.
Maryland hosts Miami (Fla.), Virginia is at Clemson, while Florida State travels to Boston College on Sunday.
Such is the depth of the ACC that nine teams rank in the top 40 in the latest RPI index but only eight teams will qualify for the ACC Tournament next week in Cary, N.C.
G TEAM W-L-T
21 North Carolina 7-2-0
19 Maryland 6-2-1
19 Virginia 6-2-1
19 Florida State 6-2-1
16 Wake Forest 5-3-1
15 Boston College 5-4-0
13 Duke 4-5-1
12 Miami 4-5-0
10 Virginia Tech 3-5-1
3 NC State 1-8-0
0 Clemson 0-9-0