The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday September 26th

UNC Fails to Clinch Another Close One

So it comes with little surprise that the Seminoles squeaked out a 80-78 overtime win against the Tar Heels in front of 5,275 at Carmichael Auditorium.

The game was UNC's fourth that went into overtime, a school record.

"We would be in first place in the ACC if we could win the close games," UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell said.

Instead, the loss keeps the Tar Heels (14-11, 7-7 in the ACC) stuck in the fifth spot, while the 'Noles (17-8, 9-5), who are enjoying their best season since 1991-92, trail only No. 4 Duke.

Brooke Wyckoff hit two free throws with 40.0 seconds left in OT and then sealed the win with a block of LaQuanda Barksdale's baseline jumper with about five seconds left on the clock.

Barksdale was able to regain possession and kick it out to Coretta Brown, whose 20-foot 3-point attempt clanged harmlessly off the side of the rim.

"I know that (Barksdale's) got a pretty good turnaround, and I just saw that she was a little far out and back a little," said Wyckoff, who battled foul trouble but still scored 14 points in 29 minutes.

"It was just reactionary -- just block a shot. For the first time all night, I didn't get called for a foul."

It didn't catch anybody off-guard that the Tar Heels got the ball to Barksdale with the game on the line.

Barksdale, who played her last game in Carmichael along with seniors Leah Sharp, Juana Brown and Jackie Myers, had already scored 19 points after halftime before attempting the game tying shot.

She finished the game with 30 points and 15 rebounds.

"They wanted to get the ball into her hands, and that's what they did," Wyckoff said. "I was just lucky enough to get a block."

That Wyckoff's two foul shots decided the contest was only fitting. For the game, FSU took 20 more freebies than did UNC, outscoring the Tar Heels 21-8.

UNC didn't even attempt a foul shot until Coretta Brown took two with 16:38 left in the second half.

"That was the difference in the game: foul shooting," Hatchell said.

"We were getting the ball inside, but we've got to do something to get to the foul line."

The Tar Heels started the second half with a 10-2 run -- seven of UNC's points were Barksdale's -- to take 41-37 lead with 17:49 remaining.

But the Seminoles answered right away with an 8-0 run of their own to regain the lead. The rest of the second half continued in much the same fashion: there were nine ties and six lead changes in the second stanza.

Coretta Brown sent the game into overtime tied 69-69 with a 3-point play -- a driving layup and a free throw -- with 8.2 seconds on the clock.

But the Tar Heels never could grab the lead in the extra frame, four times tying the score and once missing a chance to take the lead.

Missed opportunities summed up the contest from UNC's point of view.

Said Hatchell, "They just wanted it more than we did, but you have to deal with what's dealt to you."

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

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