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Monday October 25th

UNC women's hoops claims 81-72 Valentine's Day road win over Pittsburgh

UNC first year guard Deja Kelly (25) attempts to make a shot during a game against Pitt on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. UNC beat Pitt 81-72. Photo courtesy of Matthew Hawley.
Buy Photos UNC first year guard Deja Kelly (25) attempts to make a shot during a game against Pitt on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021. UNC beat Pitt 81-72. Photo courtesy of Matthew Hawley.

The UNC’s women’s basketball team (10-8, 5-8 ACC) defeated Pittsburgh (4-9, 2-8 ACC) in a matinée game on Sunday afternoon. The Valentine’s Day game ended in a score of 81-72 for the Tar Heels, extending Pitt's losing streak to five games. 

What happened?

The Tar Heels came into this game off of a shocking 76-69 win over No. 4 N.C. State last weekend, which put their record over the .500 point at 9-8. The Panthers had been struggling, having lost four games in a row leading up to their matchup with the Tar Heels. 

UNC’s women were leading at the end of each quarter during this game, carrying a solid 42-33 score into halftime. Much of this came thanks to Pitt's abysmal scoring, with the team finishing the game shooting 37.5 percent from the field, making only 27 of 72 shots. The Tar Heels didn't shoot much better — only 38.7 percent overall — but they were able to use foul shots to keep the lead, going perfect from the stripe in both the first and fourth quarters. 

Though neither team truly had a standout performance, UNC continued to hold the lead in the second half, eventually winning the game 81-72.

Who stood out?

Senior center Janelle Bailey, graduate guard Stephanie Watts and first-year guard Kennedy Todd-Williams stood out in Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh. Bailey scored 22 of the Tar Heels’ 81 points, while Watts scored 19. Todd-Williams made 10 of her 11 free throws, and Watts made all six of her free throws, giving UNC a scoring edge it wouldn't give up.

For the Panthers, guard Jayla Everett carried the scoring load, matching Bailey's 22 points on 8-21 shooting. Guard Dayshanette Harris had 14 points on 5-9 shooting — the only player on either team to have a positive shooting percentage after attempting more than six shots.

When was it decided?

This game was decided relatively early on. The Tar Heels were leading at the end of each quarter, only being outshot by the Panthers in the fourth quarter, where Pittsburgh scored 24 points  to UNC’s 15. Pittsburgh has had a tough season, and particularly a tough last couple of games, and were pretty easily defeated by a UNC team coming off a win against No. 4 N.C. State, even if the Tar Heels weren't necessarily playing at their best.

Why does it matter?

The UNC-Pittsburgh women’s basketball matchup dates back to the 1980-81 season. Until this matchup, Pittsburgh was leading 6-4, but this Tar Heel win puts the UNC team within one win of tying the all-time series. In their last match up, on Valentine’s Day of 2019, the Panthers defeated the Tar Heels, 91-78. This revenge win marks UNC’s only win against the Panthers on the road, having previously been 0-4 when playing in Pittsburgh, including three losses in ACC play.

When do they play next?

The UNC women’s basketball team will play again on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in a road match against Clemson.

@lindseyashe_

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com


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