The UNC women’s basketball team (3-1) dropped its first contest of the year in a 86-74 defeat to Colorado (3-0) in Boulder on Sunday.
The Tar Heels got out to a quick start, jumping to an 11-1 lead on the Buffaloes in the first quarter.
Sophomore center Janelle Bailey opened the game with a three pointer and seven total points in the early run for North Carolina. UNC could not maintain the momentum of the early minutes, however, and Colorado erased the 10 point deficit with a 14-2 run of their own to take a 15-13 advantage with 4:28 to go in the period.
Colorado, led by 9 points from Kennedy Leonard, continued its push through the end of the first quarter, taking a 26-19 lead into the first intermission.
The offenses slowed down coming out of the quarter break, with UNC and Colorado combining for 8 points in the early stages of the quarter. Colorado threatened to break the game open, stretching its lead to 9 points at the 6:48 mark, but the Tar Heels fought their way back to within two with the score 32-30 near the halfway point of the second.
That’s when Leonard went on another run, pouring in 8 more points and dishing two assists in answer to a 7-0 UNC run. She gave the Buffaloes an 8 point lead going into halftime.
Leonard continued her dominant effort right off the bat in the third quarter, hitting a three to record the first points of the second half, and extending the Colorado lead to double figures once again.
The Buffaloes established firm control of the game in the third quarter not from a huge run, but rather from consistent offensive production throughout the 10 minutes. It did not have a run greater than 6-0, but found itself leading the game 75-56 heading into the final frame.