After a victorious home season opener against North Carolina A&T, the Tar Heels traveled to Charlotte to defeat the 49ers 89-33 at Halton Arena on Sunday afternoon; putting their record at 2-0.
The Tar Heels started the game out strong as they earned a nine point lead in the first quarter before the 49ers were able to put any points on the board. Jump shots made by sophomore guard Alyssa Ustby and sophomore forward Anya Poole as well as free throws made by sophomore guard Deja Kelly gave North Carolina this lead. With a combination of lay-ups, jump shots and a three-pointer made by Ustby, UNC ended the first quarter up 27-3.
Even though the Tar Heels slowed down a bit in the second quarter, they still extended their lead over Charlotte. They were able to successfully score seven out of 18 attempted shots and they closed out the half with two good free throws made by redshirt junior guard Eva Hodgson for a whopping 35-point lead over the 49ers.
North Carolina kept the momentum up as the team entered the last half of the game. The Tar Heels put up an additional 14 points in the third quarter, starting with a lay-up from sophomore guard Kennedy Todd-Williams. Though the Tar Heels held the lead, Charlotte was able to put up 11 points in this quarter, which was the most in a single quarter up to this point.
Just as they started, the Tar Heels ended the game playing strong, putting up 29 points in the final quarter to solidify the win against the 49ers. The fourth quarter showed the most points that North Carolina would earn in this game, and also served as the largest score margin of the game.
Who stood out?
Ustby led the team in points, scoring a season high total of 18 by the end of the game. She also recorded 11 rebounds to mark another season-high, and led the team in assists with five.
Poole’s performance against the 49ers earned her two new career highs: 17 points and three blocks. She also grabbed nine rebounds to contribute to the first away win of the season.
When was it decided?
North Carolina held a major lead throughout the game, and Charlotte simply could not keep up.
UNC ended the first quarter with a 24-point lead on the 49ers. While Charlotte was able to earn more points during the second quarter, the Tar Heels still held a 35-point lead, putting the end score at 46-11. The third quarter was slower for North Carolina, but it still led 60-22 as the team entered the final quarter of the game and brought home the 89-33 win.
Why does it matter?
When North Carolina hosted Charlotte in the 2020 season, the Tar Heels barely won with the final score at 81-75. That entire game was close, so to see North Carolina holding such a drastic lead from the beginning to the end of this game shows growth for the young team.
In addition, the victory against the 49ers marked history as it was the Tar Heels’ 1,000th win since the start of the program in 1974 and put UNC at a 3-0 all-time lead over Charlotte.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will host the Appalachian State Mountaineers at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
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