UNC got a solid challenge from St. John’s in women’s basketball, but the Tar Heels were just too strong down the stretch.

Italee Lucas (pictured) scored 17 points to lead four players in double figures as No. 4 UNC held on for an 83-73 win over the previously unbeaten Red Storm at the Smith Center.

In other area games, N.C. State returned to the winning column with a 78-62 victory over visiting Texas Christian, while N.C. Central had a long afternoon in an 85-44 loss at Virginia Tech.

Cetera DeGraffenreid added 16 points for the Tar Heels (6-1), while Tierra Ruffin-Pratt added 13 and Chay Shegog 12.

Da’Shena Stevens’ 25 points led St. John’s, which also got 11 points from Sky Lindsay.

UNC led 45-33 at the break before St. John’s (7-1) scored the next 11 points. The score was tied at 65-65 with less than eight minutes to play before DeGraffenreid scored six points to spark a 12-2 run to give the Tar Heels some breathing room.

N.C. State 78, TCU 72

In Raleigh, freshman Marissa Kastanek had a season-high 22 points, including her team’s first eight points of the game and the first seven of the second half, to lead the Wolfpack (6-3).

Lucy Ellison added 15 points and nine rebounds for State, while Nikitta Gartrell added 12 points and nine boards and Brittany Strachan chipped in 10 points.

Helen Sverrisdottir had 19 points for the Horned Frogs (5-3), while Tk Lafleur added 17 points and Starr Crawford 11.

Va. Tech 85, NCCU 44

In Blacksburg, Porschia Hadley led the Hokies (5-3) with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Brittany Gordon also had 15 points.

Alyssa Fenin chipped in 13 points and Northern Durham alumna Utahya Drye 10 for Virginia Tech.

Shanise Blanks poured in a game-high 20 points for NCCU (0-7).