On Wednesday afternoon, the North Carolina women’s basketball team produced its best performance of the season in an 86-60 win over UNC-Wilmington.
The Tar Heels (3-2) set a season-high in assists (26) and steals (13) and tied season-highs in made field goals (36) and 3-pointers made (6). Five Tar Heels contributed double-figure scoring outputs in the blowout win over the Seahawks (2-2).
Senior guard Jamie Cherry led all scorers with 21 points after shooting a combined 1-18 in her last two contests.
“I’ve been in the gym trying to get up extra shots," Cherry said. “Just to see the ball go through the hoop gave me a lot of confidence. The coaches told me if I was open to keep shooting.”
Cherry was aided by first-year bigs Janelle Bailey, Jaelynn Murray and Jocelyn Jones, who all put in solid efforts. Bailey finished the game with 16 points, Jones tied a career high with 14 points and Murray added a team-high eight rebounds.
“Every game I’ve just been finding something to improve on," Jones said. “Definitely learning to play with my teammates more and I think that helps with overall chemistry. So just finding where I fit with the offense and the team and feeding off each other.”
Another Tar Heel who filled up the stat sheets was sophomore guard Taylor Koenen. After averaging 6.6 points and 5.1 rebounds as a first-year, Koenen has put up three double-digit scoring performances to start the season including her 12 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in Wednesday’s win.
“I call her Larry Bird,” head coach Sylvia Hatchell said. “I told her she’s our Larry Bird because she’s a utility player and does a lot of things out there. Not flashy, but solid. And she’s in that gym and does whatever we need her to do. She’s like a sponge and just soaks up information. I would love to have a teammate like Taylor."
Perhaps the most encouraging sign for the Tar Heels was winning without a huge game from redshirt junior guard Paris Kea, who finished with a season-low 10 points, but added a game-high eight assists.