The North Carolina women’s basketball team defeated Elon, 78-73, on Sunday at Carmichael Arena.
UNC (7-1) engaged in a back-and-forth game in the first quarter. Redshirt sophomore Paris Kea led the way for the Tar Heels, shooting 4-for-6 from the floor to lead the team with nine points. UNC couldn’t keep Elon (4-3) from getting to the rim early, and gave up a lot of layups and shots inside for easy buckets.
UNC used their quicker guards to create space for 3-point and mid range shots and to attack the rim in the second quarter. Elon, meanwhile, pounded the ball inside to its taller forwards to get easy layups on UNC’s four-guard lineup. The Tar Heels pulled away late in the quarter, making six of their final eight field-goal attempts of the half, ending with a buzzer-beater reverse layup by sophomore Stephanie Watts to put UNC up 42-38 at the half.
Junior Jamie Cherry took charge out of the intermission, quickly adding a 3-pointer and a 3-point play to put UNC up 48-40. Elon quickly got layups by driving baseline to pull within three points. The teams continued to go back-and-forth throughout the rest of the quarter before the Tar Heels gave up a late layup to Elon to put the Phoenix within one at 60-59 heading into the fourth.
UNC began to rely on its bench down the stretch, with first-year Taylor Koenen stepping in for Watts, who was in foul trouble, with five points in the first five minutes of the quarter. The Tar Heels were up as much as nine in the fourth, but the Phoenix were able to pull within two with less than two minutes left in the game. Despite some later heroics by Elon, UNC was able to get to line and execute to pull away for the victory.