The North Carolina women’s basketball team kicked off its season at Carmichael Arena on Wednesday night, defeating Wingate 84-62 in its first of two preseason exhibition games.
Head coach Sylvia Hatchell had two first-year forwards in her starting lineup, but it was the other three starters — returning guards Jamie Cherry, Paris Kea and Taylor Koenen — who led the Tar Heels throughout the game.
After a slow start to the first quarter, three consecutive three-pointers from Cherry, Kea and Koenen kickstarted the night and gave UNC a four point lead that it would never relinquish.
The second quarter saw the Tar Heels extend their lead to 15 through five more points from Koenen and four more from Cherry. In addition, Bailey converted two tough layups to take her tally to six points on her debut.
A couple of quick layups from Koenen and another from Bailey kept UNC’s momentum rolling to start the second half, but Wingate wouldn’t go down without a fight. The Bulldogs went on a run of seven unanswered points midway through the third quarter to pull them back into the game. However, a UNC rally to end the quarter ensured that eight points was the closest Wingate got.