The North Carolina women’s basketball team started its 2018-2019 campaign in style, cruising to a 100-69 win in its season opener at Elon on Tuesday.
The game began relatively evenly matched, as the first quarter ended with the Tar Heels holding an 18-17 lead.
Redshirt senior guard Paris Kea picked up two quick fouls and had to sit the rest of the period, which allowed the Phoenix to get some easy transition buckets. Some missed layups early for North Carolina -- possibly a result of season-opener jitters -- also led to scoring opportunities for Elon on the other end.
In the second quarter, head coach Sylvia Hatchell elected to go zone on defense to stop the Elon penetration inside. It didn’t take long for the decision to pay dividends -- the Tar Heels allowed just 12 points in the period, a big reason for the team holding a 40-29 advantage at the half.
A dominant third quarter gave North Carolina the separation it needed.
The Tar Heels outscored the Phoenix 28-18, often by lobbing long outlet passes to create quick and uncontested buckets. The emphasis on transition opportunities, along with the Tar Heels tightening up on the defensive end and limiting fouls, helped seal the game.
The victory moved the Tar Heels to 39-6 all time in season openers.