After beating two top-20 teams in the past week, Maryland's 12th-ranked women's basketball team struggled early and had to use a late rally to beat North Carolina, 74-66, in an Atlantic Coast Conference game last night at Cole Field House.

Reserve forward Christy Winters led Maryland with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

The win upped Maryland's record to 16-4, 8-1 in the ACC. The Tar Heels fell to 8-11, 2-7. Maryland had defeated Virginia, 83-79, Wednesday and Wake Forest, 88-80, last Saturday.

"We played a very good first half, but Maryland regrouped and changed to a zone defense and that was the biggest difference in the game," said North Carolina Coach Sylvia Hatchell.

The Terrapins relied heavily on Winters in the first half. The 6-foot-2 sophomore responded with 11 points before intermission. North Carolina led at the half, 39-35.

"Maryland's front line was great, and Winters was tough to stop," said Hatchell. "I think Maryland has the best starting five in the ACC."

The Terrapins finally took control early in the second half. Trailing by 45-36, Maryland went on a 16-2 run, with Winters's six-foot jumper putting the Terps ahead, 52-47, with 11:25 left.

Senior guard Lisa Brown (20 points) sealed the game for Maryland with several free throws in the final minutes.

Forward Kathy Wilson led North Carolina with 23 points. Junior center Vicky Bullett scored 10 points for Maryland and Deanna Tate had a career-high 12 assists.

Virginia 67, Clemson 64:

Donna Holt and Daphne Hawkins each scored 22 points as the Cavaliers won the ACC game in Charlottesville.

The Cavaliers improved to 18-2, 7-1 in the ACC. Clemson (14-5, 6-4) was led by Cheryl Nix's 15 points.

Virginia trailed by eight points with eight minutes remaining but rallied to take the lead with one minute left on Holt's three-point shot and never trailed thereafter.

American 61, William and Mary 58:

Kia Cooper had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Eagles (9-11, 4-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association) to an overtime victory over the Tribe (7-12, 1-5) at Bender Arena.

George Washington 62, Rhode Island 57:

Anne Riley hit three consecutive jump shots in the final minutes to ensure the Colonials' Atlantic 10 victory at Kingston, R.I. GW (15-6, 9-3) was led by Gloria Murphy's 20 points and six rebounds.

NYU 57, Catholic 53:

The host Violets (15-4) got 12 points each from Patti McCrudden and Jennifer Miani. Catholic (12-4) was led by forward Trisha Miller's 20 points and eight rebounds.

Bowie State 56, Virginia Union 51:

Demetress Belk had 16 points and seven rebounds to lead the Bulldogs to a road victory. Elnita Curtis had 11 points and four assists for the Bulldogs (6-12).

York 59, Gallaudet 53:

Center Jean Jones had a game-high 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead visiting York (8-7). Center Gina Tester led Gallaudet (6-13) with 24 points.

Marymount 91, Frostburg 84:

Marlene Grimes scored 28 points and Debbie Clise 21 to lead the Saints (16-3) over the 12th-ranked Division III Bobcats (14-5) at Marymount.