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The Daily Tar Heel

Numbers to know for UNC women's basketball in a potential breakthrough season

Women's Basketball Kent State Paris Kea
UNC women's basketball redshirt senior Paris Kea gets hype before Friday's game against Kent State. UNC won the game 73-60.

The North Carolina women’s basketball team has started the year 2-0 and hopes to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2014-2015 season. With that in mind, here are some numbers to know for the Tar Heels.

36: The amount of consecutive regular season games missed by redshirt junior Stephanie Watts. The guard returned to the floor for the first time since Feb. 16, 2017, in an exhibition against Carson-Newman and impressed by scoring 28 points. She followed that up with encore performances of 16 and 9 points, respectively, in the team’s first two regular season games.

18.3: Paris Kea’s career points per game average as a Tar Heel coming into the season, a number that ranks first in program history. The redshirt senior guard is also one of four players in program history to score 1,000 points in her first two seasons with the team. The preseason All-ACC pick was also named to the Citizen Naismith Trophy Women's Watch List on Monday after averaging 21 points per game in two games this year.

25: The number of points scored by junior transfer Shayla Bennett in her first two games as a Tar Heel. The former Gulf Coast State guard has wasted no time in getting acclimated to the program, taking the spot of former guard Jamie Cherry in the starting lineup. As a sophomore at Gulf Coast State, Bennett averaged 20.6 points per game and was named the 2018 WBCA Two-Year College Player of the Year. She adds speed and scoring punch to head coach Sylvia Hatchell’s system.

13.3: The career points per game average of Destinee Walker, the other talented redshirt junior guard who missed all of last year due to an injury. Although Walker has not played so far this season due to a hip issue, once she returns she will be a key contributor, be it off the bench or in the starting lineup. 

100: Points scored by UNC in its season opener at Elon. In the game, the squad showcased its added depth and balance, with six players reaching double figures, including Watts. Last season, the team did not reach triple digits once. In fact, the team topped 90 points just four times, with the last time being an overtime victory over Duke on Jan. 21. 

32: Amount of 3-pointers hit by sophomore sharpshooter Leah Church in one minute in 2016, setting a new world record. Although Church averaged just 11.9 minutes per game last season, she connected on 28-of-69 3s (40.6 percent) and exploded for 19 points (five 3-pointers) in the team’s overtime win over Duke. Church provides another scoring catalyst off the bench for Hatchell’s team.

1,007: The amount of wins for Hatchell as of Nov. 12. The Hall of Fame head coach is often forgotten amongst other legendary coaching figures, but only four more men or women have more wins than Hatchell. With a deep roster this season, she should be able to significantly add to that total.

21.1: The amount of rebounds Taylor Koenen, Bailey and Murray averaged together last season. While the Tar Heel backcourt will likely lead the way, its frontcourt won’t be far behind as Bailey and Murray continue to grow. Koenen is the team’s Swiss Army knife due to her versatility. Last season, Hatchell compared the junior to Larry Bird due to her ability to play multiple positions.

2015: The last time UNC made the NCAA Tournament.Three mediocre seasons have come and gone since then, but things are looking up for the Tar Heel program. With her deepest and most talented roster in years, Hatchell’s ball club is poised to make it back to the big dance where it could surprise some teams.

@christrenkle2

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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