The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday January 29th

Browns Short Circuit Against Oklahoma

No, the lights never dimmed during the ACC/Big 12 Challenge between North Carolina's women's basketball team and Oklahoma.

But the Sooners effectively sucked the power out of UNC's top guards, Coretta Brown and Juana Brown.

Before Sunday's matchup both Browns had been playing near the top of their games. Juana Brown was averaging 13.8 points per game and boasted a free-throw percentage of 71.8. She was on fire in UNC's trouncing of Florida State last Thursday, contributing 21 points and seven steals.

There wasn't even a spark of that fire seen against Oklahoma.

Juana Brown shot a disappointing 5-for-17 from the field. And not all of those shots could be contributed to the Sooners' defensive skills. She didn't sink her open looks either.

"I think it was really an off day," Brown said. "I don't want to take anything away from Oklahoma's defense, because their defense was pretty good. But a lot of times, my shots were open shots; I just didn't make them."

Brown not only had trouble connecting from the paint, she also struggled outside the arc. She shot 2-for-9 on 3-point attempts, her worst performance since the second game of the season.

When one Brown starts having trouble, typically the other Brown helps out.

But Coretta Brown, who scored more than 20 points in two of her last three games, also shot 5-of-17.

Her 17 points couldn't compensate for Juana Brown's struggles.

"I don't think Coretta had her normal game," coach Sylvia Hatchell said. "She's been playing really, really well, but she didn't have the game that she's been having here lately."

Oklahoma's initial pre-game goal was not to douse the Browns, but rather to contain the Tar Heels' star forward LaQuanda Barksdale.

But by getting in the Tar Heels' faces any time they tried to put the ball up, the Sooners didn't stifle Barksdale alone (2-of-6 shooting in the second half).

Sooner forward Stacy Dales said, "We worked on hard on keeping them out of the paint, make them shoot over us, and contest every shot that they took."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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