No. 12 UNC women’s basketball (2-0) picked up a physical win against TCU (1-1) with a final score of 75-48.
The Tar Heels started the matchup with a missed layup from junior guard Kennedy Todd-Williams. TCU took the opportunity and ran, drawing a foul on redshirt senior guard Eva Hodgson. The Horned Frogs hit one of two free throws, and got on the board first.
Junior small forward Alyssa Ustby scored the first field goal of the game for UNC, grabbing an offensive rebound and putting it back after a missed jumper from junior forward Anya Poole.
The first quarter ended on a sore note for UNC. The Tar Heels had no made field goals in the last 5:02 of the first quarter. TCU went on an 11-2 run to end the first quarter leading 17-15.
The second quarter started off on a similar foot, with the Horned Frogs hitting a jumper to extend their lead to four. The Tar Heels had no field goals or free throw opportunities for the first 3:24 of the second quarter. First-year guard Paulina Paris broke the scoring drought as she drained a jumper to bring the Tar Heels within two.
From this point forward it seemed to be all Tar Heels. The Horned Frogs were held to seven points in the second quarter, and UNC went into the locker room with a 30-24 lead.
The third quarter heavily favored the Tar Heels. After some back and forth play to start the second half, the Tar Heels’ momentum began to show. About three minutes into the third quarter, junior guard Deja Kelly ripped away an offensive rebound from TCU, pushed the ball down the court to Ustby who drew a foul and knocked down one free throw. Todd-Williams picked up an offensive rebound off Ustby's missed free throw attempt and drew another foul, eventually leading to a nifty layup from Poole. The Tar Heels continued to capitalize off their momentum, and ended the third quarter with a 27-point lead.
The fourth quarter was all North Carolina. 14 seconds into the quarter, sophomore forward Destiny Adams made a layup to make the Tar Heels’ lead 29. The Tar Heels continued to dominate the game and came away with a 27-point win.
Who stood out?
Ustby had a huge game, scoring 14 points and picking up five rebounds in under 18 minutes of playing time. Ustby is still under a playing time restriction, but she makes her presence known each and every game.
Poole and Adams also played a major role in the win. They combined for 20 points and 15 rebounds, and also contributed to the Tar Heels’ presence in the paint. Adams’ 10 points and seven rebounds tied her career highs. UNC had 46 points in the paint and 18 second chance points, signaling that the Tar Heels’ paint presence was too much for the Horned Frogs to handle.
When was it decided?
The Tar Heels struggled throughout the first half, but soon gained their footing in the second half. The Tar Heels expanded their six point lead at the half to 27 at the end of the third quarter. TCU was only allowed six points in the third quarter as the Tar Heels tightened up their defense.
After the boost of momentum demonstrated by the Tar Heels in the third quarter, there was little the Horned Frogs could do to crawl back into the game. North Carolina’s lead did not get below 20 in the fourth quarter.
Why does it matter?
This win moved the Tar Heels to 2-0 on the season and demonstrated the depth that this team has. This was also Ustby’s last time-restricted game, meaning she will be available to play more minutes throughout the rest of the Tar Heels’ non-conference schedule. This breakout game for Adams is a good sign for the Tar Heels, as she is another added weapon in the paint.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will be back in action on Wednesday against South Carolina State at 11 a.m. inside Carmichael Arena.
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