CARMICHAEL ARENA/CHAPEL HILL UNC plays its only exhibition game of the season tonight against Coach Sylvia Hatchell’s alma mater, Division II Carson-Newman of the South Atlantic Conference.
- Photo courtesy UNC athletics
- UNC center Chay Shegog
The No. 20 Tar Heels have some big shoes to fill, with three senior starters who were akin to institutions — post Jessica Breland and guards Italee Lucas and Cetera DeGraffenreid — departed.
Hatchell is high on her freshman class of five players who won state championships as seniors, and freshman wing Whitney Rountree will get the start tonight. Also in the starting lineup are center Chay Shegog, forwards Laura Broomfield and Krista Gross, and point guard She’la White.
It takes a while for the Tar Heels to get going, but they eventually run away with a 91-43 victory.
UNC is a massive favorite, but leads only 32-28 at the break behind 13 points from Shegog. Shannon Depew has 13 at the half for the Eagles, who shoot 37.5 percent to 28.2 for the Tar Heels.
But the Tar Heels make the second half a different story by scoring the first 13 points after intermission. Five different players score in the run, which opens up a comfortable lead UNC expands upon the rest of the way.
UNC’s biggest lead is 50, as the Tar Heels make it 91-41 on freshman Danielle Butts’ three-point play with 1:40 to go.
Shegog scores 24 with 11 rebounds in 27 minutes, leading four Tar Heels in double figures. Redshirt freshman Shannon Smith — who missed most of last season with mononucleosis – adds 13 including four 3-pointers, Latifah Coleman 12 and freshman Danielle Butts 10.
Depew, who fouls out with 15:19 to go, is the only Eagle in double figures.
UNC shoots 43.2 percent for the game to CNC’s 23.0, as the Eagles shoot 6.9 percent in the second half. The Tar Heels win the rebound battle 50-43, and commit 18 turnovers to the visitors’ 36.
They said it …
UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell: “We just missed shots in the first half. I thought we had a lot of good shots, we just missed them. I don’t know how many layups we missed. We went from 28 percent in the first half to 60 in the second. But we had a lot of young ones out there. Some of them came off the bench and played really well.”
Shegog: “I felt good about my game, and better about how the team played in the second half. We just have to keep that intensity through the entire game. Coach has made an emphasis on getting the ball into the post, but Carolina basketball has always been like that. Fast break and get the ball inside and good things will happen.”
Smith: “Last year I learned a lot. I learned the speed of the game is a lot different from high school. And I watched Cetera play; she’s a great point guard who knows how to push the ball. It was really a blessing to sit out, because I learned from seeing two great guards play.”
What does it all mean?
That the Tar Heels are still coming together, but very capable of putting together a run to destroy an outgunned opponent.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Gross’ layup from Broomfield to make it 34-28 with 19:52 to go.
UNC vs. Gardner-Webb, Saturday, 1 p.m.
CNC at Limestone, Nov. 16, 5:30 p.m.