In a potential revenge game against Miami (6-4, 3-4 ACC), the North Carolina women’s basketball team (7-3, 2-3 ACC) fell short in a 69-59 loss to the Hurricanes and dropped into the bottom half of the ACC.
In the first quarter, the Tar Heels started off in an even defensive battle with the Hurricanes, going shot-for-shot. In the final minutes of the quarter, UNC held Miami to one basket and went on a 10-point run with four scores, ending the first period with a 16-9 lead.
The second quarter was defined by runs for both team’s offenses, but more so for the Hurricanes. After a solid ending to the first quarter, the Tar Heels lost their momentum in the beginning of the second period and began to miss shots and make mistakes.
Miami was able to exploit the UNC defense, which had held the Hurricanes to under 10 points in the first quarter, and quickly erased the deficit. After a 19-19 tie midway through the second quarter, UNC responded with an 11-2 run, but the Hurricanes quickly hit three 3-pointers in the final minutes of the half.
Though UNC had controlled the game with a single-digit lead for the majority of the afternoon, the two teams went into the break tied, 30-30.
Coming out of the halftime break, the third quarter featured many of the same struggles seen in the previous quarter for the Tar Heels, with Miami continuing to steamroll the defense. With 10 minutes remaining in the game, the Hurricanes had fashioned themselves an 11-point lead, leaving the score at 54-43.
Though UNC was down 11, its defense tightened up in the fourth quarter, and the Tar Heels only allowed 14 points. Even so, the Tar Heels were not able to erase the deficit from the prior period and lost the game, 69-59.
Who stood out?
While the Tar Heels mostly spread the scoring throughout the game, senior center Janelle Bailey finished the game with a double-double in points and rebounds. By the end of the game, Bailey had 18 points, hitting 40 percent of her shot attempts. She also was able to grab a game-high 15 rebounds to go with three assists.
When was it decided?
The game was decided midway through the fourth quarter when UNC called a timeout with 6:49 remaining. Down 61-46, the Tar Heels were in too much of a deficit to come back from the Hurricanes’ sizable lead.
Why does it matter?
Following two conference wins in a row, including an upset of No. 18 Syracuse, UNC looked to continue its rise through the ACC standings against an unranked Miami team that had narrowly beaten them in Coral Gables almost a month prior.
Instead, the Tar Heels consequentially fell from sixth in the ACC to ninth, but with 11 conference games left to play, they still have some time to improve their standing before the regular season closes.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels continue their ACC play against Virginia Tech on Thursday, Jan. 14, at 6 p.m. in Carmichael Arena.
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