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The Daily Tar Heel

Strong defense propels UNC women's basketball to 75-53 win over Marshall

All it took was one quarter for North Carolina.

The UNC women’s basketball team won its fourth straight game Wednesday night, defeating Marshall 75-53 at Carmichael Arena.

North Carolina (8-1) trailed Marshall (5-3) by four points at the end of the first quarter, in part due to a slow start from typically key Tar Heel performers — namely sophomore shooting guards Destinee Walker and Stephanie Watts.

“We started out a little sluggish,” Coach Sylvia Hatchell said. “Letting (Marshall) have open looks.”

The second quarter was entirely different.

It took Walker just six minutes of the second quarter to rack up six points after a scoreless first period. In the same amount of time, Marshall failed to score a single basket.

Hatchell attributed her team’s second-quarter success to solid defense.

"We were switching on our defense on the perimeter and we tightened that up,” she said.

Walker hit her first basket of the game in the second quarter from beyond the arc to give UNC a five-point lead. She shot another three before the halftime buzzer and finished the game with 15 points.

“I was just happy my shot was falling tonight," Walker said. "Because the last couple games it has been off, so I was just happy to contribute."

The team followed suit with impressive performances from junior point guard Jamie Cherry and redshirt senior Hillary Fuller.

Stephanie Watts had an off night from the floor, but she and the rest of the team found other ways to contribute.

“Even though Stephanie and Paris (Kea) didn’t have the normal scoring, they did a lot of other things,” Hatchell said. “Stephanie had 10 rebounds and Paris had seven assists and four steals, so they did some other things other than scoring.”

Cherry agreed.

“It’s not all about scoring,” she said. “You have assists, rebounds, you can help your team in other ways. And I think they did a great job of doing that tonight.”

Overall, the team finished with 16 assists and eight steals, evidence of the chemistry and tenacity that UNC displayed in its victory.

But scoring does matter, in the end, and North Carolina managed to outscore the Thundering Herd by 18 points in the second quarter.

Marshall never regained the lead, and the Tar Heels cruised to their fourth straight win.

North Carolina has a break for final exams before taking on LSU in Myrtle Beach for the Crescom Bank Holiday Invitational.


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