The North Carolina women’s basketball team snagged its seventh straight victory and head coach Sylvia Hatchell’s 999th career win in a 90-78 victory over Washington in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The Huskies (5-5) started off hot and ended the first quarter on an 8-0 run to take a 25-23 lead over the Tar Heels (9-2) on Sunday. However, Washington was unable to maintain its lead in the second quarter.
Both teams were tied at 37 heading into a media timeout with 4:57 left to play in the half. After scoring nine points in the first quarter, redshirt junior Paris Kea scored another nine in the second quarter to give UNC a 50-42 lead going into halftime.
At the start of the third quarter, the Tar Heels committed a turnover on an inbounds pass that led to two quick points for the Huskies. From there, Washington went into a full-court press and frustrated UNC’s offense with a series of turnovers. The Huskies came within four points of the Tar Heels, but first-year Janelle Bailey came up big with a much-needed play for North Carolina.
With seven minutes left to go in the third quarter, Bailey secured a huge offensive rebound and was fouled on the put-back attempt. Bailey knocked down both free throws to give the Tar Heels a 56-50 lead.
Two minutes later, Kea responded to Bailey’s big play with a conventional three-point play that gave UNC the first double-digit lead of the game by either team.
After being down by 13 points heading into the fourth quarter, Washington didn’t give up and continuously tried to chip into the Tar Heels’ lead. However, the Huskies had no answer for Kea’s career high 33 points off of a 12-16 shooting performance, which marks the 24th straight game that she’s scored in double digits.
“She’s a natural and she’s got a beautiful shot,” Hatchell said. “She can score from anywhere on the court, and I’d put her mid-range game up against anybody in the country.”
Along with Kea, senior Jamie Cherry racked up 28 points on 10-16 shooting. Bailey finished with 19 points on 7-for-8 shooting.