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The Daily Tar Heel

Tar Heels get out-rebounded again

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — For the third game in a row, the North Carolina women’s basketball team was routinely beaten to the basket.

But for Maryland, rebounding seemed as easy as a Sunday stroll.

The Tar Heels fell 88-65 to the Terrapins in College Park on Sunday, and coach Sylvia Hatchell needed to look at only one stat column to determine why.

“The biggest thing was rebounding,” she said. “We didn’t get off to a good start. Maryland is very good, and they are very physical.”

The Terrapins racked up 55 total rebounds, and center Lynetta Kizer and forward Alyssa Thomas combined for 22 of them.

“Coach told us at halftime that UNC was going to come out in the second half and they were going to rebound even harder,” Kizer said. “I told the bigs that we need to go out and we need to put a body on somebody and we need to board for the rest of the half, we can’t let up.”

With just 32 rebounds for UNC, Hatchell wasn’t surprised her squad fell to Maryland — especially since the Tar Heels played without a key contributor.

Senior Jessica Breland leads North Carolina in defensive rebounding with 102 this season, and the forward ranks second on the squad in total rebounds.

But in UNC’s last two games, she has played just 10 minutes.

Breland went out with a knee injury during the first half of UNC’s game with Wake Forest, in which the Tar Heels were outrebounded 53-51. The 6-foot-3 forward sat on the bench during the match with the Terrapins.

The absence of Breland — who has started 18 of UNC’s 19 games in the 2010-11 campaign — left a gaping hole in UNC’s starting lineup, particularly on the defensive end.

“She would have probably given us eight or 10 rebounds,” Hatchell said. “There’s no doubt that we missed her.”

Junior Laura Broomfield leads the Tar Heels in total rebounds this season with 156, and led against Maryland with nine. But for much of the game, Hatchell had to bench the star rebounder because of foul trouble.

Broomfield played just five minutes during the first half, and during that time she racked up three fouls.

Hatchell admitted that the lack of rebounding had a little bit to do with the physicality and size of the competition. With 10 Terrapins in the lineup measuring 6 feet tall or more, Maryland certainly had an advantage.

But the veteran coach refuses to believe that height difference is the only factor when it comes to rebounding.

“We’ve always taken a lot of pride in our rebounding,” Hatchell said. “I tell them all the time that rebounding is not about size or speed, it’s about heart.”

Contact the Sports Editor at sports@dailytarheel.com.

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