After upsetting rival N.C. State in Chapel Hill earlier this season, the North Carolina women's basketball team looked to do the same in Raleigh on Thursday. But a layup and two 3-pointers from the No. 18 Wolfpack to open the game sent the crowd in Reynolds Coliseum into a frenzy and UNC never recovered.
N.C. State (21-7, 11-4 ACC) fed off the early run and had its way with North Carolina (14-14, 3-12 ACC) and cruised to a 80-60 victory.
Playing without both Stephanie Watts and Destinee Walker, the Tar Heels simply didn’t have the firepower necessary to play with the Wolfpack. North Carolina shot just 20 percent in the opening quarter while NC State shot 59 percent.
Offensively, the Tar Heels relied on Jamie Cherry and Paris Kea to bail them out of far too many possessions where there wasn’t enough ball movement to get a good shot.
The North Carolina defense struggled guarding the N.C. State ball screens and gave the Wolfpack far too many open looks from behind the arc. Even though North Carolina resorted to pressing in an effort to stop the onslaught, the Wolfpack found Jennifer Mathurin for an open corner three at the end of the first half to take a commanding 54-33 lead at the break.