TUCSON, Ariz. — With the clock winding down in the third quarter, the No. 12 seed Stephen F. Austin seemed poised to pull off the upset against the No. 5 seed North Carolina.
That was when redshirt junior Eva Hodgson received the ball outside of the 3-point line for the Tar Heels, who were trailing by two points. She knew that this shot could change the momentum of the entire game.
Hodgson, the team’s best three-point shooter at 37 percent, rose up and fired. Her eyes were firmly planted on the rim as the ball just barely rattled out. The buzzer sounded, ending the quarter. As her teammates headed toward the bench, Hodgson remained in place, eyes still on the rim, displeased at the missed opportunity to take the lead.
“I had realized we were down going into the fourth (quarter),” she said. “So I was hoping that three was going to fall and when it didn’t, I knew we had to come out with a little more fire in the fourth.”
Coming out of the gate in the final period, Hodgson caught the ball once again outside the 3-point line, in the exact same spot she found herself at the end of the third.
This time, with a quick hesitation move, Hodgson shook her defender and then let off a floater just within the paint.
Hodgson’s decisive shot tied the game back up — and the Tar Heels never looked back. North Carolina would go on to win 79-66, and outscored SFA 25-10 in the final quarter.
It was a fitting moment for Hodgson, who has become a pivotal piece of the Tar Heels' second unit this season.