The North Carolina women’s basketball team topped Miami, 78-58, on Thursday night, led by a dominant performance from junior center Janelle Bailey in front of a home crowd in Carmichael Arena.
Miami (10-7, 2-4 ACC) came out of the gate pressing to open a high-scoring first quarter for the Hurricanes.
With North Carolina (13-4, 4-2 ACC) struggling to find reliable shooting from outside the paint, post play from Malu Tshitenge and Bailey kept the Tar Heels close in the opening period. Bailey and Tshitenge finished the quarter combining for 11 of UNC's 16 points, with Miami going into the first break up by six.
North Carolina showed a revitalized effort to start the second period, attacking the rim early to draw the game even at 22 points each. With a tie game and an energetic crowd, the Tar Heels continued their success in the paint, allowing Bailey to reach double digits early in the quarter.
At the halfway mark of the second period, the game had settled into a back-and-forth battle. The Hurricanes answered back-to-back 3-pointers from Tar Heel guards Leah Church and Madinah Muhammad with scores of their own in the midst of five lead changes in the second quarter.
Despite a 21-point outing from UNC in the second period, the Hurricanes were able to put together a 7-1 run to end the quarter, giving them a 38-37 lead at the half.
Miami would continue strong, opening with a 6-0 run to start the third quarter before Bailey found the bottom of the net about three minutes in.
The Tar Heels failed to take advantage of some shooting struggles from the Hurricanes to start the quarter, before flipping the switch and going on an 11-0 run to take the lead. North Carolina found scoring from three different players during the run, taking a 50-48 lead into the final quarter.