That has been the story of UNC’s season, as the Tar Heels are just a few plays away from being undefeated. Instead, UNC finds itself at 4-3, having suffered all three losses by three points or less.
In a closely fought game, UNC simply couldn’t establish itself on either end of the floor. The North Carolina offense had numerous opportunities around the rim, but the Tar Heels simply couldn’t finish when they needed to — resulting in a 29.7 shooting percentage for the game.
On the other end of the floor, UNC struggled mightily. While Pacific struggled to shoot, the Tar Heels couldn’t hold the Tigers to one possession. Extra opportunities by way of offensive rebounds allowed Pacific to hold on for the victory.
“I thought they were the tougher team out there today. I didn’t think we were nearly as tough as we needed to be.” – Coach Sylvia Hatchell on her team’s performance on Wednesday.
Senior forward Xylina McDaniel, who suffered a calf injury to start the season, did not start in Wednesday’s contest. Still, McDaniel played 23 minutes and led her team in scoring with 16 points.
Three numbers that matter
18: UNC gave up 18 offensive rebounds to Pacific. In a game that saw both teams shoot under 31 percent, second-chance opportunities were crucial down the stretch.
10: While the Tar Heels owned the lead going into the second half, Pacific held UNC to just 10 points in the third period to take control of the game. North Carolina never regained the lead in the fourth period.
34: Only one Pacific player stayed on the floor for at least 34 minutes. UNC, which played just seven players, had four players over that mark.
The Tar Heels play Gonzaga at 2 p.m. on Sunday in Uncasville, Conn., in the finale of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge.