The North Carolina women’s basketball team dropped its season opener to Hampton, 70-66, in a tightly contested battle on Friday afternoon.
North Carolina struggled from the start as Hampton jumped out to an early lead. The Pirates led by as many as 10 with 5:51 to go in the second quarter.
North Carolina struggled to stop the fast break early on. Hampton had 14 points off turnovers and 10 on the fast break at the end of the first half.
North Carolina gained some momentum at the end of the half, as a block from forward Emily Sullivan led to a fast break layup for guard Taylor Koenen. Redshirt junior Paris Kea converted on a free throw attempt at the end of the half to cut the lead to five going into the locker room.
North Carolina came out hot and took control of the lead in the third quarter, and would lead by as many as seven in the fourth. Several late game threes from Hampton, however, brought the Pirates back. The back-and-forth game came down to the wire, and it was all but over when senior guard Jamie Cherry missed a three-point attempt in the final moments of the game.
Hampton left Carmichael Arena with a 70-66 victory.
Who stood out?
Kea had a heroic effort in the Tar Heels’ loss. With a stat line of 24 points, six steals, five rebounds, and six assists with only three turnovers, the Tarboro, N.C., native proved she could do it all.