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Monday December 5th

Tar Heels breeze by South Carolina State, 98-28, to continue undefeated start to season

First-year guard Kennedy Todd-Williams (3) drives the ball upcourt against South Carolina State in Carmichael Arena on Dec. 3, 2020. UNC beat SC State 98-28.
Buy Photos First-year guard Kennedy Todd-Williams (3) drives the ball upcourt against South Carolina State in Carmichael Arena on Dec. 3, 2020. UNC beat SC State 98-28.

Led by a well-rounded performance from first-year guard Kennedy Todd-Williams, the North Carolina women's basketball team defeated South Carolina State, 98-28, in Carmichael Arena on Thursday to continue its undefeated start to the season.

What happened?

From the opening tip, UNC smothered the Bulldogs on defense. South Carolina State's first three possessions consisted of two air balls and a turnover when Trinity Klock stepped out of bounds on the far sideline.

By the time the first quarter came to an end, the Tar Heels only allowed 10 points and already led by double figures behind Todd-Williams's nine points in the first frame.

One of the most impressive points of North Carolina's defense was that it held South Carolina State's Heniaya Moton, who scored 51 total points in the two games leading up to Thursday's game, scoreless for the first 13 minutes of the contest.

The Tar Heels' aggressive defense helped them carry a 43-13 lead into halftime, keeping them on pace to surpass their 38.3 margin of victory through the first three games of the season.

North Carolina spent the second half of the game cruising to victory, outscoring the Bulldogs 35-8 in the third quarter as part of the 70-point shellacking. UNC held its opponent to just 9-53 shooting on the night and out-rebounded the Bulldogs 58-24 in the win.

Who stood out?

Todd-Williams played her most complete game of her short UNC career against the Bulldogs as she entered halftime with a potential triple-double on her hands at 10 points, six rebounds and six assists.

The first-year guard only played 13 minutes in the first two quarters but led her team at the break at plus-29 in that short time. She went on to rack up 14 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals by the end of the game

First-year guard Deja Kelly, another member of UNC head coach Courtney Banghart's first signing class also poured in 16 points on 6-7 shooting to help bolster the offense.

When was it decided?

Once the Tar Heels took a 15-5 lead midway through the first quarter, they never let the Bulldogs within single digits the rest of the evening.

They held South Carolina State to just three points in the following quarter and dominated from that point on with a 16-1 run to close out the first half. By the time the fourth quarter started, the Bulldogs had only made seven shots and were closing in on 20 turnovers.

Why does it matter?

North Carolina had 11 players score points as it breezed past South Carolina State, further proving that the depth of this year's team is much more of a factor compared to last season.

Heading into their matchup with the Bulldogs, the Tar Heels were averaging 45 points per game off the bench, a massive improvement on last year's bench unit that failed to score at all on four occasions.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will return to Carmichael Arena for an afternoon matchup with UNC-Charlotte on Sunday, Dec. 6, at 4 p.m.

@McMastersJ

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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