The North Carolina women’s basketball team (10-10, 1-8 ACC) defeated Georgia Tech (14-5, 5-3 ACC) by a score of 70-57 in Carmichael Arena.
The first half was, in part, a story of which team could sink the most three-point attempts afforded to them. Both teams struggled to contain the drives of the other without allowing open three-pointers, but it was the Tar Heels who took advantage of this.
UNC shot 6-9 from beyond the arc in the first half compared to the Yellow Jackets’ 4-13. Normally the one creating open shots for others, junior guard Deja Kelly found herself with several catch-and-shoot opportunities, shooting 3-4 from three.
Kelly’s 13 first-half points included two buzzer beaters at the end of the first and second quarters. The first buzzer beater saw Kelly get to her favorite pull-up jumper at the elbow, sinking the jumper with a hand in the face. The second was an easier endeavor, a catch-and-shoot three-pointer to put the Tar Heels up 37-28.
Part of what created open shots in the first half was the Tar Heels’ assault on the rim, particularly in transition. This continued in the second half, in which UNC scored 28 points in the paint compared to Georgia Tech’s 18.
Junior wings Kennedy Todd-Williams and Alyssa Ustby both used the third quarter to show their prowess at finishing through contact. As the Yellow Jackets’ cold shooting continued, the Tar Heels continued to pull away.
Who stood out?
Unlike in recent games, Kelly did not carry a heavy load to set the tempo for the team. Able to focus on scoring, Kelly led all scorers with 18 points on 7-14 shooting.