North Carolina's women's basketball team, on the cusp of a second overtime, had the ball in its go-to player's hands against Florida State on Sunday.
Facing a 80-78 deficit in overtime on Senior Day at Carmichael Auditorium, with seconds and her home season dwindling away, senior forward LaQuanda Barksdale had the rock down low.
Posting up on Seminole forward Brooke Wyckoff, Barksdale attempted a fall away shot on the right baseline.
But meeting her was Wyckoff, who timed Barksdale's shot perfectly and came up with a clean block.
"I wanted to have the ball in my hands really bad," Barksdale said. "(Wyckoff) got a good block."
Barksdale finished with 30 points and 15 rebounds on 12-of-24 shooting. She dropped 19 points in the second half and overtime, and her point total for the game was just two off her season high of 32 that was set against Elon on Dec. 28.
Barksdale stepped up her game after the half. She got things going to open the second half, canning a wing 3-pointer on the Tar Heels' first shot attempt to cut the Seminoles' halftime lead to 35-34.
Barksdale displayed all facets of her game to the Seminoles, hitting post-up shots, layups and jumpers when the Tar Heels needed them.
"That is why we were going to her," UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell said of Barksdale's hot hand.
During a four minute stretch in the second half, the senior accumulated eight straight UNC points on two driving layups and four free throws.
The outburst turned a two-point FSU lead into a two-point Tar Heel advantage with 3:29 remaining in regulation.
After Coretta Brown's 3-point play sent the game into overtime, Barksdale again made her presence felt in the OT period.
Her lay-in with 1:00 remaining tied the game 78-78, and her heads-up play after Wyckoff's block gave the Tar Heels one last chance to win.
"I thought it was a lot of presence of mind for Barksdale to get the ball back," FSU coach Sue Semrau said. "And that could have been something that hurt us. Fortunately, we were able to get the ball at the end."
But Brown missed the 3 as time ran out, and the Tar Heels ended their fourth overtime game of the year in disappointing fashion.
The senior ended her career at Carmichael Auditorium with a gutsy but heartbreaking performance.
"No matter what game it was, I wanted to win," Barksdale said.
"It just makes it harder that it is my last home game."
The Sports Editor can be reached at sports @unc.edu.
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