DURHAM, N.C. — After Sunday’s 68-60 overtime loss to Duke, Deja Kelly said her team was pissed off.
While head coach Courtney Banghart fielded questions during the post-game press conference, the senior guard and team captain kept her eyes fixed on the back wall, while first-year guard Reniya Kelly stared blankly at her hands in her lap. There was no hiding the palpable disappointment and frustration among North Carolina’s leading scorers.
“The mentality has to be you’re pissed off,” Deja Kelly said. “We’re not good right now. We can be, but we’re not right now.”
UNC's loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium marks the fourth straight loss for the Tar Heels. Offensive inconsistencies and foul trouble for key players took North Carolina out of rhythm and allowed Duke to execute a 15-4 run in extra time to hand UNC its second straight overtime defeat.
“We weren’t good enough,” Banghart said. “Obviously, had a chance to win it there. And then, in overtime, they made more plays than us.”
These issues aren’t new. After falling to Virginia in January, Kelly said the Tar Heels maintained some positivity. Then came the late-game breakdown in the N.C. State loss. Next, the Virginia Tech overtime heartbreaker in which graduate guard Lexi Donarski wished the team "could have made a couple more shots at the end." And now? Another overtime loss to deepen the team’s losing skid.
Close, but once again, not good enough.
“We got to get better late,” Banghart said. “Or else this is a feeling we’ll continue to feel.”
Kelly has a long list of things the Tar Heels need to improve on. First, she pointed to the shooting troubles plaguing North Carolina. Specifically, she said UNC needs to finish around the rim, run more transition offense and find open shots. After putting up 20 points in the third quarter, UNC shot 2-of-14 in the fourth and 3-of-10 in extra time.