Who stood out?
The Tar Heels came back with strong play from their starters, who scored 63 of the team's 66 points. North Carolina saw four players score in double figures and the team was led by Bailey and redshirt junior guard Stephanie Watts, who each notched 16 points.
The most impactful performance, however, came from Kea who scored all 13 of her points in the second half to lead UNC’s comeback effort. Kea did not have much of an impact of the first half because she missed much of the frame after committing three fouls.
Louisville had five players score in double figures, including two off the bench. The Cardinals leading scorer, Asia Durr, was averaging 22.5 points per game before tonight’s matchup and was held to just 10 points by the Tar Heels.
Another standout performance for North Carolina came from the team’s defensive effort. North Carolina largely played a man-to-man defense in the first half and gave up 40 points. The team switched to a zone defense in the second half which prevented Louisville from scoring for a stretch of three minutes and 29 seconds in the fourth quarter. That defense allowed UNC to get back in the game and have a chance at the upset.
When was it decided?
The Tar Heels’ comeback attempt was ended when junior Taylor Koenen missed a layup with 43 seconds remaining in the game.
North Carolina had a chance to make it a two-point game once again but Koenen’s attempt bounced off the rim and into the hands of a Louisville rebounder. The play led to a flurry of fouls from UNC in an attempt to extend the game.
The Cardinals prevented any miracle from happening by shooting 5 of 8 from the free throw line in the last 32 seconds.
Why does it matter?
UNC had a chance to get a statement win Thursday night but failed to do that.
After this loss, the Tar Heels will continue ACC play after managing a 4-5 record in their last nine games. UNC will need to improve and capture some wins if it wants to compete in the ACC.
When do they play next?
On Sunday, the Tar Heels return to Chapel Hill and have another chance to defeat a quality opponent against Florida State (13-1) at Carmichael Arena.
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