When Georgetown star Sugar Rodgers stood up after being fouled by UNC’s Xylina McDaniel and shared a few choice words with the freshman forward, it was clear that the outburst had been brewing all game.
A referee hit Rodgers with a technical foul with four minutes to play in North Carolina’s 63-48 preseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament semifinal victory against Georgetown on Wednesday night.
Rodgers, who dropped 35 points on Delaware in the quarterfinal round, had been frustrated all day by UNC’s swarming defense and shot just 25 percent from the field.
UNC didn’t play the most appealing basketball, but its defense overcame the offense’s 35 turnovers and 37 percent shooting to out-scrap the Hoyas for the win.
“We’ve worked hard on our defense,” coach Sylvia Hatchell said. “We’ve applied all of our principles, and we’re doing a lot of things out there that take teams out of the things they want to do. But it’s early, so most everybody’s defense is probably ahead of their offense right now.”