Despite hopes to bounce back after two consecutive losses, the North Carolina women’s basketball team could not find a rhythm on either end of the court on Thursday against Florida State. Instead, offensive struggles from UNC swung in favor of the Seminoles, with Florida State leaving Carmichael Arena with a 61-51 win.
Consistent shooting lacked throughout the game for the Tar Heels, as they finished with just 27.5 percent shooting from the field and a 19.4 percent clip from deep. To the dismay of North Carolina's bench, shots couldn't seem to find the bottom of the net.
UNC also struggled to get its offense moving before shots were taken, as it turned the ball over 13 times overall. The Seminoles' strong half court defense forced the Tar Heels' outside of the 3-point line, making it difficult for senior center Janelle Bailey, UNC's leading scorer, to get the ball.
Graduate transfer Petra Holešínská, the Tar Heels' next leading scorer, was held out of the box score for most of the night. She finished with just three points on 1-13 shooting.
“I think we need to start off the game better and get in a rhythm on offense faster,” first-year Ariel Young said.
UNC head coach Courtney Banghart said a key aspect of the offensive struggles was North Carolina's lack of a designated point guard. Several players played in the position against the Seminoles, and the Tar Heels were constantly adjusting on the floor.
“It would be like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers playing the Super Bowl without Tom Brady,” Banghart said. “It’s a problem. The point guard is such a critical position. I told them they need to share the responsibility.”
With the absence of high-level production from their upperclassman leaders, the Tar Heels were forced to rely on their younger members to step up. Though first-years like Young, Deja Kelly and Kennedy Todd-Williams have exceptional individual talent, the Tar Heels struggled to link up with one another and seemed unable to fight off the Seminoles' pressure at times.
Kelly was held off of the scorecard completely, finishing with zero points on 0-8 shooting, and Young and Todd-Williams finished with 14 points combined.