“It wasn’t pretty, but it was a W.”
Head coach Sylvia Hatchell summed it up best. The North Carolina women’s basketball team defeated Kent State on Friday, 73-60, in an ugly game that included a lot of missed shots, fouls, and turnovers.
It was the kind of game the Tar Heels might have lost last year when they lacked two major contributors — Stephanie Watts and Destinee Walker. With the lack of firepower, UNC had to rely heavily last season on redshirt senior guard Paris Kea.
North Carolina has firepower now. But for nights like Friday, it’s a good thing the team still has Kea, who dropped a game-high 25 points.
In the first quarter, the Tar Heels started off hot, hitting their first three 3-pointers. They ended the period up, 25-14. After that first quarter however?
“We just couldn’t throw it in the ocean,” Hatchell said. “We were taking some 3s, we were getting some open looks, we just didn’t knock them down.”
Not knocking those shots down amounted to a combined effort of 0-14 from beyond the arc in the second and third quarters. Only two players made more than half their shots for the night — Kea, and reserve forward Jocelyn Jones.
There were some positives throughout the game, despite the shooting woes. The team finished with 18 assists on 24 made field goals.
“I think when we’re open we’re gonna, we’re shooters, when we’re open we’re gonna shoot,” Watts said. “If it’s not open, we’re going to look for the people who are getting the ball to go in the basket… when our 3-point shots weren’t falling or our close shots weren’t falling, we were looking to find the people (whose shots) were.”