After losing its first two games of the season by a combined three points, the North Carolina women’s basketball team was in no mood for another close contest on Tuesday night in Carmichael Arena.
The Tar Heels made sure they did not have to contend with another tense second half, as Coach Sylvia Hatchell’s team steamrolled the overmatched Florida A&M Rattlers 94-58, handing UNC its first win of the season.
North Carolina (1-2) jumped out to a 30-11 lead in the first quarter behind 19 points from the impressive first-year duo of Destinee Walker and Stephanie Watts, and the Tar Heels extended their lead in each subsequent quarter.
The team has been hit hard by graduation and transfers since the end of the 2014-2015 season, but Tuesday night provided hope for the future as the young backcourt trio of Walker, Watts and sophomore Jamie Cherry tallied 68 total points and showed the speed and poise required to run UNC’s up-tempo system.
“I’m a person who always sees the glass running over, it’s not half full, it’s not half empty, it’s running over.” — Hatchell on why she is not worried after her team’s first two losses.
Watts shot 5-of-9 from 3-point range, displaying a willingness to shoot and a beautiful quick release.
North Carolina once again played without senior forward Xylina McDaniel, who has been recovering from an injury to her right calf. She averaged 11.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in 12 games a season ago.