If UNC was in need of a basket in the game’s final minutes, Diamond DeShields became a force capable of withstanding any pressure.
But following DeShields’ decision to transfer, it’s been unclear who would grab hold of the reins.
In No. 11 UNC’s 79-77 victory over No. 19 Oklahoma State on Wednesday night at Carmichael Arena, that question was answered — sophomores Allisha Gray and Stephanie Mavunga placed a firm grasp on that role.
After UNC marched out to a 40-29 lead at the half, OSU roared back with 5:40 remaining to take a 65-63 lead on a 3-pointer by redshirt sophomore guard Brittany Atkins.
The OSU 3-pointer prompted a timeout by Coach Sylvia Hatchell. The ball was destined to find Gray on the next play.
“She’s our go-to player,” Hatchell said. “She’s the one we want taking those shots.”
Following the inbound, Gray received the ball in front of the UNC bench, dribbled around a screen and heaved a 3-pointer.
The ball floated through the air before swishing through the net. Gray said that despite losing the lead, she and her teammates needed to stay calm.