It was gritty, it was sloppy, and, for long stretches of the game, it was ugly. But for UNC, all that matters is that it was a win.
In a game in which both teams shot right under 30 percent from the field, UNC did just enough to sneak past a spirited Appalachian State team looking for its second win of the season by a score of 56-43.
“Appalachian State gave us all we could handle out there,” head coach Sylvia Hatchell said after the game. “They battled us hard inside, they were physical, they knew who could shoot, and they had a great game plan. It was the lowest we’ve shot in a long time, so you’ve got to give them a lot of credit but I was proud of our kids for pulling it out.”
Experienced guards Paris Kea and Jamie Cherry played every minute of the game and led the way on offense for the Tar Heels with 20 and 17 points, respectively. Taylor Koenen also made an impact on the stat sheet with ten rebounds and four assists.
For Kea, it was her 21st consecutive game with double-digit points, underlining just how important she’s been to the North Carolina offense. After Sunday night’s game, the redshirt junior gave the credit to her teammates for her outstanding run.
“My teammates help me get open off of screens,” she said. “Janelle (Bailey) and Naomi (Van Nes), our post players, are great at setting the screen up top, and definitely Jamie when she drives and kicks out to me it makes it a lot easier to score.”
Cherry has also been stellar of late. The senior has averaged over 15 points per game this season, and would be averaging even more if it weren’t for an uncharacteristically poor performance against South Alabama in which she went 0-10 from the field on her way to three points.