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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC women's basketball loses sixth straight to Georgia Tech, 79-61

Guard Jamie Cherry (10) passes the ball during a game against Colorado on Sunday afternoon in Carmichael Arena.

Guard Jamie Cherry (10) passes the ball during a game against Colorado on Sunday afternoon in Carmichael Arena.

The North Carolina women’s basketball team fell for the sixth consecutive time in conference play, losing 79-61 to Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Thursday night.

What happened?

UNC dug its own grave early, as it allowed Georgia Tech to go on a 22-6 run to close out the first quarter. By the end of the first 10 minutes of action, the Tar Heels (14-12, 4-9 ACC) found themselves in a 26-11 hole. 

North Carolina showed more fight in the second quarter, but turnovers allowed Georgia Tech to remain in control. Senior guard Jamie Cherry, redshirt junior guard Paris Kea and sophomore guard Taylor Koenen combined for 13 of the team’s 17 turnovers. 

In the first half alone, the Yellow Jackets (16-11, 5-9 ACC) turned nine of the Tar Heels’ giveaways into 14 points. North Carolina also allowed Georgia Tech star guard Francesca Pan to rack up 16 points in the opening half. 

Although UNC was down by 21 points at halftime, the Tar Heels clawed back, cutting into the deficit in the opening minutes of the third quarter. A 10-2 run in the first four minutes of the second half brought North Carolina within 13. However, the Yellow Jackets had an answer. Georgia Tech went on a run of its own and extended its lead to 22 points heading into the final quarter of play.

The Tar Heels were in striking distance late — down by 12 points with three minutes left. But the late effort wasn’t enough. Georgia Tech allowed UNC to score just four points over the final 3:10, on its way to a comfortable victory.

Who stood out?

Kea led the way for North Carolina with 15 points on 6-15 shooting. However, she fouled out for the first time all season in the final minute of the game. First-year center Janelle Bailey had her 10th double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. 

For the Yellow Jackets, Pan notched a game-high 24 points — just two points shy of her career-high. First-year guard Kierra Fletcher also gave the Tar Heels fits. Fletcher scored 18 points on 6-12 shooting and 6-9 free throw shooting. 

When was it decided?

The Tar Heels’ last held the lead at the 6:50 mark of the first quarter. From there, the Yellow Jackets dominated. The closest UNC got was 12 points down, but with only three minutes to go, it was too late. 

Why does it matter?

With the ACC women’s basketball tournament starting on February 28, teams are fighting for position in the conference. The top nine teams in the conference get a first-round bye. After yesterday’s game, UNC sits at eleventh in the conference. North Carolina is chasing Virginia Tech, who is ninth in the ACC with a 5-8 conference record. 

The final stretch of the season won’t be easy for the Tar Heels. Their last three regular season games include No. 4 Louisville at home and rival No. 17 Duke in Durham. 

When do they play next?

North Carolina will be back at home on Sunday to take on the No. 4 Louisville Cardinals. 


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