SMITH CENTER/CHAPEL HILL UNC comes home from its first road trip of the women’s basketball season with its perfect record still intact.
And today Sylvia Hatchell’s fourth-ranked club moves back into its regular Big South-oriented early-season schedule. The Tar Heels will be heavy favorites.
UNC is 3-0 and today’s opponent, Presbyterian College, is 0-5. The Blue Hose, the second Big South opponent of the five the Tar Heels will play, are in the third of the five seasons of transition from NCAA Division II. Things go pretty much as expected as the Tar Heels roll 92-37.
The Tar Heels are playing without leading rebounder Laura Broomfield, who is sitting out for disciplinary reasons. Martina Wood starts in Broomfield’s spot at small forward.
Also, freshman guard Krista Gross is out at least one game with a broken bone in her left hand.
PC leads 3-0 and 5-3 before the Tar Heels get rolling. And after they do it’s 41-16 at halftime.
UNC places five players in double figures, and the top two are freshmen off the bench as Waltiea Rolle has a season-high 17 points and Cierra Robertson-Warren a season-high 15. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and Italee Lucas add 12 each, while Cetera DeGraffenreid chips in 11.
Amanda Mills’ 10 points lead PC.
The Tar Heels shoot 51.6 percent to the visitors’ 22.7, win the rebound battle 47-24 and commit 24 turnovers to Presbyterian’s 36.
They said it …
Hatchell: “We started off a little bit slow and sluggish, but after a while we got going. I wasn’t pleased with the turnovers in the first half, but we were playing everybody a lot and doing some good things. We’re trying to work on some things especially against the zone. Our freshmen are coming along real well. … They’re getting comfortable playing instead of worrying about not doing the right thing. It’s going to be fun watching these kids develop.”
Presbyterian coach Ronny Fisher: “I want to thank Coach Hatchell for the opportunity to come up here and play. When I came from the men’s side to the women’s side she’s one of the first people I called because I really respect her. … What you saw tonight is two teams at totally different ends of the spectrum. We’re starting four freshmen and a junior and all of our seven freshmen are playing. We’ve got a ways to go to be able to compete at this level. “
Rolle: “It was pretty good. I scored in high school, but a lot of people thought I’d never score 17 points in college. It was kind of exciting. I feel pretty comfortable now.”
What does it all mean?
That UNC’s freshman class would have no trouble competing in the Big South as a starting unit.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
She’la White’s old-fashioned three-point play with 13:37 left to make it 59-24.
UNC leads 1-0.
UNC: Won 4.
PC: Lost 11.
UNC vs. Charleston Southern, Sunday, 12:30 p.m.
Presbyterian at Wake Forest, Sunday, 2 p.m.