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The Daily Tar Heel

In its second of two exhibition games before the official start of the season, the North Carolina basketball team took to the court against the Mount Olive Trojans in a Monday night matchup, defeating the Trojans 102-47.

What happened?

UNC got off to a quick start against the Trojans, scoring the first six points of the game. However, Mount Olive forced some turnovers and hit shots, taking the lead 8-6, proving that it might not be a walk in the park for UNC. Behind senior Jamie Cherry’s presence beyond the arc and first-year Janelle Bailey’s dominance on the inside, the Tar Heels were able to regain and add to the lead, with the first quarter ending with the Tar Heels on top 30-18.

After recording six steals in the first quarter – four of which were by Cherry – the Tar Heel defense continued to stifle the Mount Olive offense, allowing the Trojans very few clean shots while creating six turnovers.  Mount Olive was held to zero field goals for five minutes near the end of the second quarter; however, UNC didn’t capitalize as much as it could have, hitting only one of its last six field goal attempts to end the first half. Redshirt junior Paris Kea led the way in the first half, putting up 13 points, three rebounds, five assists, and four steals.

The Trojans scored the first three points of the second half, but the Tar Heels quickly answered, scoring nine straight points, five of which belonged to Cherry. Kea then went on the attack, scoring five points and dishing out two assists within a span of less than four minutes, forcing the Trojan timeout. Following the timeout, sophomore Taylor Koenen forced a turnover and scored an easy basket, making it a 30-point game. UNC ended the quarter on a 19-5 run and hit seven of its last eight field goal attempts to make the score 83-43.

In the fourth quarter, UNC kept its foot on the gas on both ends of the floor, continuing its dominance in the paint on the offensive end and continuing to force turnovers on the defensive end. With about six minutes left, head coach Sylvia Hatchell took most of the starters out to allow for players who might not see that much time during the season to get their minutes in. Despite this, UNC only gave up four points in the final period. In the end, the Heels notched triple digits on offense, defeating the Trojans 102-47.

Who stood out?

While it was a well-rounded effort by the Tar Heels as six players had double digits in scoring, Kea stole the show with 22 points on 7-9 shooting, seven rebounds, eight assists, six steals, and one emphatic block. She certainly lived up to her Preseason All-ACC Team nod.

When was it decided?

The game began to slip away from the Trojans in the second quarter. Following an impressive first quarter from Mount Olive, the Trojans were unable to get anything going offensively, while letting the Tar Heels score with ease. The 20-point halftime deficit continued to grow throughout the second half, and UNC cruised to a 55-point victory.

Why does it matter?

This was the Tar Heels’ final game to show what they have before the beginning of the season officially starts. Following two pre-season victories, UNC’s schedule will start off against lower-level Division 1 teams and gradually increase in difficulty as the season moves on.

Where do they play next?

The Tar Heels’ season officially begins on Friday when they face off against Hampton at 3:30 pm in Carmichael Arena.


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