The North Carolina women’s basketball team handed the Bucknell its first loss of the season on Sunday night after a 65-50 victory.
The Tar Heels (3-0) faced their toughest competition so far this season after having blown out their opponents in the past two games by at least 30 points. Bucknell (3-1) made its presence down low known early on and dominated both the offensive and defensive boards. North Carolina’s shots were not falling in the first half, particularly for Stephanie Watts after she went 2-for-11 to take the game into the half with a 30-28 lead for the Tar Heels.
North Carolina enjoyed a stronger offensive second half behind Watts, who finished the game with 17 points and 11 rebounds for her ninth career double-double. Bucknell had previously won 12 straight regular season games, but could not carry over enough momentum to complete the game. The Tar Heels pushed the lead to 11 with five minutes to go in the fourth period and did not look back.
Who stood out?
While Watts — the 2016 ACC Freshman of the Year — found herself struggling to make shots at the half, Jamie Cherry stepped up and provided a much-needed spark for the Tar Heels. Cherry carried the team into the second half of play to finish the game with 15 points. Along with Cherry and Watts, redshirt sophomore Paris Kea also scored in double digits. Redshirt senior Hillary Fuller pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds.
Bucknell was led by senior Claire DeBoer with 11 points and 11 rebounds. DeBoer’s double-double was gained from spending a total of 38 minutes on the court — the most out of any of her teammates. No other Bison scored in double digits. Sophomore Kaitlyn Slagus also recorded 11 rebounds.