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UNC women's basketball continues non-conference dominance with 89-44 win over App State

Sophomore guard Deja Kelly (25) celebrates at the game against App State on Nov. 17 at Carmichael Arena. UNC won 89-44 and Kelly finished the game with 18 points.

The North Carolina women’s basketball team continued its season-opening win streak, securing a 3-0 record with an 89-44 win over Appalachian State on Wednesday.

The Tar Heels were in a comfortable position for the entirety of the game, closing the night out with a 45-point advantage over the Mountaineers. The energy from the court permeated into the stands of Carmichael Arena as the team took off in the first half, with the Tar Heels ending the period up 40-7, holding the Mountaineers to a dreadful 2-of-28 shooting.

The team continued to dominate as it transitioned into the third quarter, eventually finishing the game scoring 54 percent of its shots from inside the paint. UNC also made 49 percent of its layups, with first-year Destiny Adams going on a ten-point run in the fourth quarter. 

Things did get somewhat sloppy toward the end as the team seemed to give away points to Appalachian State. Head coach Courtney Banghart noted this, saying that even against non-conference opponents, the team needed to be more aggressive as a whole.

“Defensively, we need to play a harder and more sound game,” she said. “Our guards have to be better with eyes and physicality.”

Banghart defined the game as sloppy and said that the team should have kept the same energy throughout all four quarters.

That might sound nit-picky coming from a squad whose defense held its opponents to one made shot per quarter in the first half, but for a team with conference title aspirations, giving up any ground at all is worthy of scrutiny.

“We ended a little sloppy, but the defense was pretty good and we were active,” sophomore guard Deja Kelly said. “We also kept them from attacking the basket which led to a lot of points in the first half."

Kelly finished the game with 18 points, three assists and three of the 60 rebounds the team registered as a whole. The team will face Texas Christian this Sunday at 4:30 p.m. in Kelly’s home state of Texas. 

As the team moves toward playing more skilled teams, however, the players stressed the necessity taking better care of the ball in each possession.

“I’m definitely looking forward to locking in for future games and having a mindset shift later in the season,” Kelly said.

Sophomore forward Anya Poole was the second-highest scorer on the team with 16 points.

Poole proved to be an important factor in the team’s win, making few errors in her plays. The 6-foot-2 Raleigh native played an aggressive game, taking four of the team’s rebounds and making seamless shots. 

“I want to work on holding up my part with my team," Poole said. "They have faith in me and that helps me a lot and so does constructive criticism."

As the team moves through the season, the Tar Heels will face more talented teams and must learn to translate the energy they have in the first half into the second and continue to learn from their mistakes. 

“We’re getting better as a whole,” Banghart said. “We need to find our areas of improvement for the next game.”


@dthsports |

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