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The Daily Tar Heel

Recap: Big second quarter lifts UNC women's basketball over Virginia, 65-47

Junior center Janelle Bailey (30) passes ball in the women's basketball game against Navy in the Carmichael Arena on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. UNC won 80-40.

After trailing through one quarter, the North Carolina women's basketball team (11-2, 2-0 ACC) used a 25-point second period to breeze past Virginia (5-8, 0-2 ACC) on Thursday, 65-47. 

Junior Janelle Bailey led the way with 18 points, while four other Tar Heels reached double-digits.

What happened?

At the end of the first quarter, UNC was just 5-15 from the field and trailed the Cavaliers 16-11. 

But the Tar Heels soon found their footing in their first ACC road test of the year, slapping up 25 points in the next stanza and limiting Virginia to just six in the period. The quarter started with an 18-2 run from UNC, with an avalanche of 3-pointers in the opening minutes of the period.

Of North Carolina's eight made triples, six of them came in the second quarter; Madinah Muhammad sank three treys on the day, while Taylor Koenen and Leah Church sank two apiece.

That hot stretch gave UNC a handy 36-22 advantage at the break, and after outscoring Virginia 17-12 in the third quarter, the game was all but in hand for the Tar Heels. Entering the fourth quarter, the Tar Heels led the Cavaliers by 19 and were never seriously threatened again on the way to the win.

Who stood out?

In 38 minutes, Bailey paced North Carolina with 16 points, adding five rebounds and three steals while shooting 7-12 from the floor.

All four of her fellow starters reached double digits as well: Muhammad posted 11, while Shayla Bennett, Malu Tshitenge and Koenen all recorded 10. Koenen flirted with a triple double by adding seven rebounds and six assists. As a whole, the Tar Heel collective recorded 17 assists on the day and earned 12 steals; it was, by plenty of measurements, an impressive all-around showing from UNC.

When was it decided?

A Koenen triple late in the third quarter stretched the North Carolina advantage to 22, the team's largest of the day. Though the Cavaliers would cut the lead to as little as 12 in the final period, the Tar Heels were able to salt the game away and leave John Paul Jones Arena with a win.

Why does it matter?

In theirs first conference road game of the season, the Tar Heels answered the bell after a rocky start and cruised to a victory to avoid the upset. It was the first time UNC won its ACC road opener since the 2013-14 season.

The game also served as yet another display of North Carolina's balanced offensive attack this season, while the defense frustrated Virginia into 21 turnovers.

When do they play next?

Before returning home, the Tar Heels will face Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Sunday and look to move to 3-0 in conference play.


@DTHSports |

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