At that moment — in the fourth quarter of the North Carolina women’s basketball team’s 71-55 loss to archrival Duke — UNC’s coach had had enough. As redshirt junior forward Hillary Summers bounded toward the basket, she drew some contact, threw up a shot and looked toward the referee.
When no whistle came, Hatchell launched into a fit of rage that found her at least 10 steps onto the court, as the Blue Devils (15-6, 4-3) took the ball the other way.
As she strode onto the court, her face beet red while she screamed at the top of her lungs, Hatchell collided with referee Bruce Morris — who promptly blew his whistle for a technical foul against Hatchell.
“I wasn’t trying to hit him or anything,” Hatchell said. “I was trying to get his attention, because obviously I thought we were getting fouled. But that was OK.”
And then she quickly added, “It was worth it.”
It was as if this frustration had been building all season and all game, finally bubbling over in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Tar Heels now stand at 12-10 overall and 2-5 in ACC play, including five consecutive conference losses.
And after falling Sunday afternoon in Durham, Hatchell talked as much about next season as the current one in her postgame press conference.
“We’ve got nine new players coming in. Don’t count us out this year, cause we’re going to be fighting in every game we play,” she said. “But every day’s an opportunity for us to get better. And we are.”