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It was supposed to be the big game of the 2008-09 North Carolina women’s basketball schedule.In the preseason, the story ran in the last basketball preview section: UNC vs. Connecticut. The powerhouse Huskies were coming to the Smith Center to take on North Carolina, the program that hadn’t lost an ACC Tournament game in four years.And as the game inched closer, the hype built.UNC sat at 17-0, ranked No. 2 in the nation. UConn was 17-0 as well and brought the No. 1 overall ranking into the game.
The women's basketball team was picked to finish first this season by a panel of media and school representatives.North Carolina received 30 of 45 first-place votes, ahead of Duke and last year's ACC regular season champion, Florida State. UNC went 28-7 in 2008-09 and placed fourth in the ACC.
Like last year, North Carolina entered its season opener with the title of preseason ACC favorites. Less familiar were some of the names defending it.The No. 5 UNC women’s basketball team routed College of Charleston 88-57 on Friday.
When Coastal Carolina went up 20-19 in the first half against North Carolina, the lead change was all the impetus Cetera DeGraffenreid needed.The junior guard went on a tear, accounting for her team’s next 10 points. DeGraffenreid went 3-for-4 from the line and assisted on two baskets before laying up the next four points.
When Charleston Southern took on No. 4 North Carolina, the Tar Heels ended the day with a 76-67 victory. But CSU didn’t leave the Smith Center empty handed.They walked away with a new record.The first score for the Buccaneers was a three-point basket from forward Kelsey Wasmer. And little did UNC know, there would be much more where that came from.
When players from Charleston Southern arrive at practice, they invoke some familiar names. “When our players come in, they talk about, I’m (Cetera) DeGraffenreid. I’m (Chay) Shegog,” CSU coach Julie Goodenough said. “These are the players they emulate in practice.”Still, in Chapel Hill, the underdogs managed to conjure something their heroes had never seen.
Late Saturday night, while North Carolina’s Cetera DeGraffenreid talked with Centhya Hart — a former teammate now playing at St. John’s — Hart told DeGraffenreid the Red Storm were going to press her.On Sunday, DeGraffenreid picked that press apart like a Jenga tower.
Even with Italee Lucas scoring North Carolina’s first eight points, the UNC coaching staff wanted more.In fact, after Lucas passed up a wide-open three-point opportunity before the game’s first timeout, head coach Sylvia Hatchell and assistant Andrew Calder let Lucas know their feelings.
The plays have become almost predictable. In a game like any other, on a Tuesday night like any other, Cetera DeGraffenreid and Italee Lucas faced Radford and did as usual: Quite frankly, they took over. It’s easy to look at the statistic sheet and see certain scoring runs. It’s easy to look at the lack of scoring from various other players on both teams.
Radford (1-6) recovered from a five minute drought by sinking five straight shots from behind the arc to take a 17-16 lead halfway through the first period.
North Carolina guard Italee Lucas had only a few words to describe her 23-point first-half performance against Georgia Tech Wednesday.
With an 88-47 rout of North Carolina, UConn elevated its winning legacy to the forefront of women’s college basketball. But UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell wanted the game to remain elsewhere. Deep in the recesses of the team’s memory.
Watching from the bench during No. 1 Connecticut’s decisive 23-0 first-half run against her team, North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell started begging her players to make the same plays they had been executing all season. She wasn’t exhorting them to start making a few baskets to slow down the Huskies’ momentum and cut into a rapidly increasing UConn lead.
BLACKSBURG, VA – After the first half, the North Carolina’s women’s basketball team could have counted itself lucky to only be losing by four to Virginia Tech.In the second half, the Tar Heels had no such luck. UNC found itself on the short end of a 20-6 run to start the second half and never recovered, eventually losing 79-64.
With her team coming off two consecutive road losses, North Carolina women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell decided it was time for some changes.She tried shuffles in the lineup and what her team jokingly called 24 hours of practice. “When you lose, you have to keep changing things until you find something that works,” Hatchell said.
Ten days ago against Connecticut, North Carolina point guard Cetera DeGraffenreid managed four points on 14 percent shooting.Five days later against Virginia Tech, she tallied five points — though her field goal percentage dwindled to nine percent. And in Sunday’s first half against Maryland, her totals diminished even more.
The official stats show Clemson’s Keyrra Gillespie had eight assists Friday night against North Carolina.To UNC’s Italee Lucas, she had nine.
It took the North Carolina women’s basketball team seven minutes to turn a barnburner into a blowout Friday night.Down by a point with 7:08 left in the second half, North Carolina rattled off a 23-4 run to defeat Clemson 79-61.
RALEIGH — Chay Shegog was little more than a bystander in Monday’s game against N.C. State.After picking up her fourth foul shortly after halftime with UNC down seven, she sat with a towel draped over her shoulders — even taking part in a “Tar … Heels” chant after a timeout.It seemed that North Carolina would be forced to go the rest of the way without any interior presence.
RALEIGH — North Carolina entered Reynolds Coliseum on its most successful stretch ever against N.C. State. A staggering 17 of the past 19 contests had gone in the Tar Heels’ favor, yet with 12 minutes remaining in the second half, none of that seemed to matter.