Paris Kea could have been the name in everyone’s mouths after scoring 31 points, one short of her career high, to go along with a career-high 11 assists for an excellent performance against South Alabama. Perhaps it should have been Janelle Bailey, whose efficient inside scoring kept North Carolina afloat on a night when many of its normal shots weren’t falling.
Bailey instead fouled out in the fourth quarter of a close game, and the Tar Heels lost, 85-84, on Sunday afternoon in Carmichael Arena. A game-winning 3-pointer attempt from guard Jamie Cherry, who ended up going 0-10 from the field, rimmed out at the buzzer.
After the game, head coach Sylvia Hatchell was clearly frustrated with the how the officials called fouls on Bailey.
“I don’t know.” Hatchell said. “I’ve got no answers for why she’s not getting any respect in there.”
UNC scored 42 of its 84 points in the paint, and without Bailey down the stretch, found it difficult to score at all. The Tar Heels only managed to score seven points for the rest of the game after Bailey fouled out at the 4:11 mark of the fourth quarter.
South Alabama was led by center Chyna Ellis, and by guard Savannah Jones who scored 14 of her 22 points in the first quarter, on 5-5 shooting and 3-3 shooting from 3-point range.
Jones only scored three points in the second quarter, and then none in the third. She came up big for the Jaguars in the fourth quarter, making two clutch free throws to bring to Jaguars within one point in the final 41 seconds. Ellis followed that with a go-ahead jumper that gave South Alabama an 85-84 lead.
“(Jones) was lighting it up at the beginning of the game” Hatchell said. “We were going to go some zone, but I didn’t think we could change it because they had four kids shooting threes.”
As a whole, South Alabama lit it up from behind the arc, shooting 48 percent from three for the game compared to North Carolina's 31 percent 3-point shooting.