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The Daily Tar Heel

Chay Shegog fuels a win over NC State for Tar Heels women's basketball

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Womens basketball against NC State

Heading into Sunday’s matinee matchup with N.C. State University, North Carolina’s best means of defeating the Wolfpack was hard to miss.

Prior to the contest, anyone within Reynolds Coliseum could tell that 6-foot-5 forward Chay Shegog would be UNC’s primary means of attack against N.C. State’s smaller frontline, but the Wolfpack’s ability to contain the UNC senior was in greater doubt.

Yet it wasn’t until the second half that Shegog was able to navigate a sea of shorter-but-scrappy Wolfpack players to guide UNC to a 60-50 win.

Throughout the first half, a swarm of N.C. State defenders smothered Shegog at every touch in UNC’s offensive end, forcing her into four turnovers within the first seven minutes. The ACC’s second-leading scorer heading into the contest, Shegog didn’t score until the 7:41 mark of the first half, forcing UNC to rely on its outside shooting to stay afloat.

On the other end, the Wolfpack guards used their quickness to beat Shegog and the rest of UNC’s posts to loose balls and rebounds, netting 11 second-chance points in the opening 20 minutes. The Wolfpack shot just 28 percent from the field in the opening stanza but the game entered halftime tied at 28, thanks in large part to 13 offensive rebounds that translated to 11 more shots than the Tar Heels in the first half.

“The difference in the game at (halftime) was they were getting a lot of second-chance points,” UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell said. “We were in there trying to just jump instead of boxing out, and we were getting pushed out underneath the basket.

“So we really talked about that (at halftime) and emphasized how important the rebounding was in the second half.”

Shegog put it more simply.

“We kinda got ripped in the locker room about rebounding and everything,” she said. “That usually snaps us into it.”

Hatchell’s words certainly seemed to light a fire under Shegog, who began to deliver the type of dominant performance most had expected.

On defense, Shegog played with the kind of effort that makes her size difficult to counter, swatting three shots and using her length to force the Wolfpack into turnovers and tough looks.

Offensively, Shegog never seemed hurried and played to her strengths. Though the Wolfpack continued to mob her, Shegog played with patience, pouring in 10 points to just one turnover.

“We wanted to limit her touches as much as possible,” N.C. State coach Kellie Harper said. “We just didn’t execute well in the second half.”

Most importantly, though, Shegog and fellow forwards Krista Gross and Laura Broomfield limited the Wolfpack to one shot on most possessions, gathering 16 second-half rebounds and allowing no second-chance baskets.

Without the benefit of extra opportunities, the Wolfpack managed just three field goals during the game’s final 10:31, two of which came in the final minute after UNC had secured the win.

Contact the Sports Editor at sports@dailytarheel.com.

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