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The Daily Tar Heel

North Carolina women's basketball loses fifth straight at N.C. State, 73-54

Coming off of four consecutive losses in conference games, the UNC women’s basketball team was unable to stop their slump on Sunday afternoon, falling 73-54 to No. 23 N.C. State in Raleigh.

What happened?

The Tar Heels got off to a hot start, as Jaelynn Murray converted two transition layups to open the scoring for the team. A pair of Janelle Bailey field goals made it 8-3 as UNC jumped out to an early lead.

N.C. State rallied however, fighting their way back into the lead with a 9-0 run midway through the first quarter. A Taylor Koenen and-one play just before the buzzer gave the Tar Heels a 15-14 lead heading into the second.

The second quarter proved to be a stumbling block once again for UNC in conference play, with the Wolfpack having their way with North Carolina’s defense. A 19-4 run that stretched almost eight and a half minutes within the period gave the home team a commanding lead, and UNC was unable to come up with an answer. The game went into halftime with N.C. State up 34-21.

The third quarter featured more of the same, with the Wolfpack's offense continuing to put up points at a steady rate, and their defense giving UNC fits. Aislinn Konig led the Wolfpack with 10 points in the third frame, including two 3-pointers.

By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, the result was no longer in question. Konig put up eight more points in the final frame, while Kea added nine to her total. The Tar Heels ended the game on a 9-3 run, but it was too little and too late.

Who stood out?

For the Tar Heels, Paris Kea led the way with a game-high 21 points on an 8-19 shooting performance. Janelle Bailey followed behind with 13 despite missing four of her five free throws.

For the Wolfpack, Aislinn Konig came in on top with 18 points, including four 3-pointers. Their scoring was extremely balanced however, with four players scoring in the double digits.

When was it decided?

Despite getting off to a good start and holding the lead after the first quarter, the Tar Heels were quickly outmatched. The home team rode the energy of a raucous crowd to quickly pull away when the momentum turned in their favor. A positively dominant second quarter from the Wolfpack on both sides of the ball ended any realistic hope of a Tar Heel victory before halftime.

Why does it matter?

Coming into the game sliding on a four game losing streak, UNC desperately needed a win to stop the bleeding, but they were unable to get back on track. They have now fallen to 4-8 in the conference and 14-11 on the season. With four difficult ACC games coming up to end the regular season, they face an uphill battle to finish above .500 for the year.

The Wolfpack, on the other hand, were coming off of a loss at Miami that ended a seven-game winning streak. They will have been looking to get back on track with a statement win at home, and they managed to do just that. They face Wake Forest and Pittsburgh next week before traveling to No. 5 Notre Dame to conclude their regular season.

Where do they play next?

The Tar Heels have three days off before traveling to take on Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Thursday.


@DTHSports |

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