The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday February 8th

Tar Heels Cruise to 2 Wins In Season-Opening Games

Creator. Finesse. Infectious. Smart. Special. One word answers for a multi-sided player.

Whichever side, Atkinson's high-paced game initiated No. 13 UNC's two dominating wins this weekend. On Friday, the Tar Heels downed Davidson 68-46, and Sunday they defeated East Tennessee State 106-40.

And when all was said and done and UNC's coach Sylvia Hatchell was asked to describe, she answered: dynamic.

"(She's) Explosive and uptempo," Hatchell said. "That's how we work. Exciting. And that's how her game fits in. She's that kind of player. And that's our style."

Atkinson was the only Tar Heel to rack up a double-double against the Bucs, while every Tar Heel on the court put points on the board.

The only time all weekend the Tar Heels (2-0) struggled was in the first half against Davidson when Wildcat's Robyn Flewelling and Ashley Hallsted consecutively stopped-and-popped 3-pointers to put the Wildcats up by two with 4:14 left in the first half.

Davidson followed with a Janell Crayton free-throw to lead 25-22.

Points though, were the least of Hatchell's concerns. Her mind was boggled by poor rebounding numbers.

"We weren't thinking or focusing," Hatchell said. "They were scoring off offensive rebounds, and that was the key to the score in the first half."

After halftime the Tar Heels went on a 11-2 run and out-rebounded the Wildcats' 25-21 during the second period. Atkinson furthered the recovery with 10 rebounds against ETSU (0-2) on Sunday.

"At the beginning of every season there is trouble for every team with consistencies," said Courtney Chambers, who finished with seven points. "Play hard, play well and be patient-- that's going to have to be our goal."

Another area that caused problems for UNC was its the turnover to assist ratio.

Against Davidson (0-1), the Tar Heels had the same amount of assists as they did turnovers; on Sunday, UNC had 29 assists to 22 turnovers.

Freshmen Atkinson and Jessica Sell helped finish off the weekend at 2-0.

"When out on the court we play with everything," said Sell, who led the team with 20 points on Sunday. "We don't want to take any prisoners, and we will do what we have to do to win."

These two wins in a matter of three days are crucial for the Tar Heels as they enter the Rainbow Wahine Classic next week and will play two powerhouses -- No. 5 UConn and No. 25 Oklahoma.

Chambers said, "With these two games I think we've grown into good basketball shape."

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

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