The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Wednesday, May 22, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

UNC's Own Ace Returns in Win

Nikki Teasley, suiting up for the North Carolina women's basketball team for her first regular-season game in more than 19 months, entered the Tar Heels' game against Evansville with 15:59 remaining in the first half.

She did not disappoint.

Just after she entered the contest to loud vocal support at Carmichael Auditorium, Teasley already was creating. She slashed to the hole and whipped a crisp pass to forward Chrystal Baptist on the left side of the goal for a layup.

The dish was the first of eight the senior guard from Washington, D.C., would make on the day. She moved into first place on UNC's all-time assist list in the Tar Heels' 89-69 win against Evansville in the second round of the 2001 Preseason Women's National Invitational Tournament.

Teasley narrowly missed a triple-double, finishing with 12 points, eight assists and eight rebounds in 29 minutes of action.

Teasley sat out Friday's contest against George Mason because of a violation of the NCAA's outside competition rule but came back strong to lead UNC to the victory.

"I wish she would have waited another day," said Evansville coach Tricia Cullop. "She adds an awful lot to this team. Her ability to make plays for other people as well as score and rebound is key."

In the first half, when Teasley was in the game, the offense seemed to click.

In her first 5:25 on the floor, UNC outscored Evansville 13-0 with Teasley contributing two points and two rebounds.

While her 4-for-10 shooting display -- including 0 for 5 from 3-point land -- proved her jumper was a little rusty, Teasley was able to exploit her height advantage and quickness on the perimeter that led to kickout assists and looks down low.

"I'm disappointed in myself for being nervous, it's not really my style," Teasley said. "I'm very happy we got a win."

With the Tar Heels traveling to play Connecticut on Thursday, UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell is happy to have her star back in uniform.

Said Hatchell, "It's good to see her being successful on and off the court."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.