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Bailey's 11th double-double of the season carries UNC to 78-68 win over Cavaliers

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UNC junior center Janelle Bailey (30) attempts to make a goal. The Tar Heels played against Virginia Cavaliers on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020 in Carmichael Arena. UNC won 78-68.

Junior Janelle Bailey scored 23 points on Thursday night as the North Carolina women’s basketball team (15-6, 6-4 ACC) defeated Virginia in Carmichael Arena, 78-68, to sweep the season series. 

What happened?

UNC got off to a fast start, leading 11-5 after the first five minutes. The Tar Heels were led by first-year Malu Tshitenge, who scored six points on 3-3 shooting. Defensively, they stifled the Cavaliers (8-13, 3-7 ACC), holding them to under 30 percent from the field. 

North Carolina went on an 11-3 run to close out a very efficient first quarter, extending its lead to 13. UNC shot over 50 percent and only committed two turnovers in the opening period. 

Virginia struggled significantly on the offensive end. The Cavaliers shot the ball poorly, especially from the 3-point line. They only made one of their first 11 attempts from behind the arc and turned the ball over seven times in the first half. 

North Carolina took advantage of Virginia's mistakes to control the first 20 minutes of the game. Redshirt senior Madinah Muhammad tallied 12 points to allow the Tar Heels took a 43-21 into locker room.

Bailey was a force in the post during the third quarter, scoring six of the team’s first eight points in the period, all of which came from the paint. 

Virginia refused to go away, cutting the deficit to 12 early in the fourth quarter. However, UNC's defense prevented the Cavaliers from narrowing the gap much more and earned a double digit win, 78-68. 

Who stood out?

The Cavaliers had no answers for Bailey. She gave them fits, using creative post moves and a dominating night on the boards to energize her team. She grabbed 17 rebounds, a season-high fro the junior. 

This was her 11th double-double of the season and her sixth time scoring over 20 points in a game. Bailey also played well on defense, rising up for three of the team’s four blocks. 

When was it decided?

North Carolina gave itself a sizable lead from the opening tip, keeping the margin over double digits throughout the final three quarters. 

This early run prevented Virginia from going on any substantial scoring runs, keeping the momentum on UNC's side. This kept the pressure off of the Tar Heels, and they were able to comfortably seal the win to earn their sixth conference victory.  

Why does it matter?

After falling short against No. 7 N.C. State in Raleigh, the Tar Heels were looking for a strong bounce back performance against a Cavalier squad that is near the bottom of the ACC. UNC won big in the first matchup between the two teams, securing a 65-47 win.

They were just as dominant in their second meeting, dictating the pace the whole game.

North Carolina was especially impressive on the defensive side of the ball. It held Virginia to only 36 percent shooting, including slowing down Jocelyn Willoughby, the ACC's leading scorer. The senior only scored 15 points, four points less than her 19.1 season average entering the game.   

When do they play next?

North Carolina will look to finish its two-game home stand on a positive note before a big game in Durham against rival Duke. The Tar Heels will host Clemson on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Carmichael Arena. 

@ryanheller23

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@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com