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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC women's basketball wins big over UCLA

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Freshman center Janelle Bailey (44) goes for a layup during Sunday's game against Louisville at Carmichael Arena.

The North Carolina women’s basketball defeated UCLA 83-49 on Thursday in the first game of the Paradise Jam Tournament. 

What happened?

UNC (4-1) took an early lead in the first quarter. Paris Kea hit a three pointer for the first shot for the Tar Heels, after going 0-3 in the last outing against Colorado. Despite not shooting well, the Bruins scored 10 of their 19 points off of free throws in the first quarter to keep the game within six. 

However, the shooting woes of UCLA inevitably caught up with the team, as it wouldn’t get a chance at the free throw line again until halfway through the third quarter. A lack of offense and trouble on defense allowed North Carolina to run up the lead to 14 by the end of the first half. A strong third quarter that saw UNC go on a 17-2 run early on to firmly take control of the game. From there North Carolina cruised to an easy victory. 

The major difference in the game, besides UCLA’s poor shooting performance, was turning defense into offense. North Carolina scored 26 points off of turnovers, while UCLA scored just nine. At the end of the day, despite out rebounding North Carolina on the offensive board 19-6, the Bruins just couldn’t generate enough offense to keep up with the Tar Heels’ firepower. 

Who stood out?

Janelle Bailey had her second double-double in a row, scoring 20 points and bringing down 10 rebounds. The second-year center is averaging 18 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, both team highs, through five games this season. The reigning ACC Freshman of the year was one of the sole bright spots for the Tar Heels in their loss against Colorado, and continued her strong play against the Bruins. 

Paris Kea, the team’s second leading scorer, had a bounce-back game after a poor performance against Colorado, scoring 15 points and dishing out a team high 5 assists in 28 minutes of play. 

When was it decided?

After the Tar Heels took a 10-8 lead at the 3:27 mark in the first quarter, they never looked back. UCLA managed to go on a small run to end the first quarter to be down just six, but North Carolina would go on to outscore it’s opposition 58-30 in the next three quarters to win the game by a whooping 34 points. 

Why does it matter?

UNC started its first tournament strong, beating a well regarded Bruins team. UCLA was not ranked on the latest AP poll, but did receive votes in from coaches. It’s a positive sign for a team that struggled in it’s last game, especially defensively. North Carolina held UCLA to just 16-61 shooting, including 3-19 from the three point line.

When do they play next?

North Carolina plays No. 17 South Florida on Saturday, the second game in the Paradise Jam tournament. The Tar Heels last just played the Bulls in 2016, which saw USF win the game 83-55. For the Bulls, senior wing Laura Ferreira is in the top 50 in the nation in scoring, at 20.5 points per game. 

@bg_keyes

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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