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UNC leading scorer Chay Shegog held to 4 points against UConn

STORRS, CONN. — At the conclusion of No. 3 University of Connecticut’s 86-35 drubbing of No. 24 North Carolina, any number of statistics could explain UNC’s worst loss in program history.

Besides the abnormally high number of turnovers and being outrebounded, UNC shot a dismal 23.2 percent from the floor and only 11.1 percent from behind the arc, sinking just one 3-point attempt.

The Tar Heels had twice as many turnovers, 26, as field goals in the contest.

UNC’s scoring arsenal looked empty most of the game as team and ACC leading scorer Chay Shegog was held scoreless in the first half and finished with four points.

“With the press and all we weren’t able to get it down and get it into her as much as we wanted to,” Hatchell said. “And when we weren’t getting in there, she was working to make a move to the basket and it just wasn’t working with going in.”

UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell attributed the poor play to how physical the game has become in recent years.

“The women’s game is now where the bigger, stronger teams are starting to really dominate,” Hatchell said. “It used to be where women’s basketball used to be more finesse. … I do think it’s become way too physical.”

Physically, Shegog and UConn center Stefanie Dolson are similarly sized, each listed at 6 feet 5 inches tall. But Dolson was able to dominate Shegog in the paint, scoring 10 points and adding five rebounds.

UConn’s stifling defense, ranked No. 1 in the NCAA in scoring defense at an average of 45.1 points allowed per game, went to work on UNC, packing the lane with players like Dolson and 6-foot-3 center Kiah Stokes.

While Dolson was easily able to maneuver around Laura Broomfield and Shegog in the paint, UNC’s post players struggled to put points on the board. Dolson and Stokes each finished with two blocks, making UNC’s scoring even more difficult.

Though Hatchell didn’t approve of the increased physicality of the game, Huskies coach Geno Auriemma waved it off as a normal occurrence in the Big East.

“If (Coach Hatchell) is worried about how physical Stefanie is, she should play in our league for about a month and then she’d see what physical really is,” he said. “I don’t want to disrespect anybody, but in our league they do.”

Though UNC had 26 turnovers, it was unable to convert its remaining possessions into points — a recipe for a loss.

“You’re not going to win a lot of games at this level if you can’t score. That’s kind of where the game is right now,” Auriemma said. “It puts a lot of pressure on how the team is winning if you can score on a lot of possessions consecutively.”

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