Deja Kelly was open. Probably more than she had been for most of the afternoon.
But with less than a minute left in overtime, the senior guard's triple clanked off the outer rim and bounced back toward the wing.
Senior forward Alexandra Zelaya chased down the rebound, swatting it back to Kelly. Still down by six, senior forward Alyssa Ustby set a quick screen and Kelly dribbled the left for a pull-up three.
Missed opportunities proved to be the Achilles' heel for No. 24 North Carolina in its 70-61 overtime loss to No. 17 Virginia Tech on Sunday, marking the Tar Heels' third straight loss. Despite every open look and rehearsed scenario, UNC's shots didn’t fall. North Carolina went 1-8 from the field in overtime and was outscored by VT 16-7 in the five-minute period.
“I don’t know, I feel like we got good shots,” graduate guard Lexi Donarski said. “We got looks that we practice — in practice and outside of practice — they just didn’t fall. I thought for the most part we did what we wanted to, just wish we could have made a couple more shots at the end.”
The problems even followed the Tar Heels to the free throw line.
Down 58-56 with two minutes left in overtime, sophomore guard Indya Nivar stepped up to the charity stripe with a chance to tie the game. The Stanford transfer went 1-2, and on the next play, Virginia Tech’s Georgia Amoore connected on a 3-pointer. From there, the Hokies closed the game on a 9-4 run and never looked back.
Although North Carolina held Virginia Tech — the ACC's third-best offense at 78 points per game — to just 34 percent shooting, the lack of momentum-building plays for UNC ultimately stunted its comeback efforts in overtime.