by Mike Potter
CARMICHAEL ARENA/CHAPEL HILL UNC puts its No. 25 national ranking on the line again with its second game in as many days.
The opponent is UNC Asheville, which has made four previous trips to Carmichael and always come up dry.
The Bulldogs are coming off a home-court win over Montreat, but are 0-3 against Division I opposition this season. UNCA has one local product on the team in freshman Rachel McGirt, a 6-foot center out of Durham’s Jordan High.
This one is easy, as the Tar Heels roll 101-42.
UNC leads throughout this time, taking a 51-29 advantage at halftime. Waltiea Rolle has 19 points at the break, followed by Xylina McDaniel and Megan Buckland with 11 each and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt with 10.
Gentry Manley has 12 and Shonese Jones 10 at the half for UNCA.
The Tar Heels shoot 50 percent in the first half to 28.9 for UNCA, lead the rebound battle 28-21 and commit eight
turnovers to the Bulldogs’ 12.
Rolle leads the Tar Heels with 19 points while Buckland ties her career high with 17 including five 3-pointers. McDaniel chips in 11 points and Ruffin-Pratt 10.
Manley finishes with 12 and Jones 11 for UNCA.
UNC shoots 54.1 percent for the game to UNCA’s 20.3, wins the rebound battle 61-40 and commits 16 turnovers to the Bulldogs’ 21.
There’s a scary moment with 7:21 to go when UNCA’s Abra Sickles falls and is taken off the court wearing a neck brace and riding in a wheelchair.
They said it:
Hatchell: “Our pace and pressure and defense can wear teams out. We got a lot of playing time for some who haven’t had that many minutes. Megan continues to shoot the ball well and stretches the defense with that. That stretches the defense. Waltiea was 8-for-10 with nine rebounds and I was hoping she’d have another double-double. We’ve got to shoot the ball better, but we’re getting after it and playing hard.”
Rolle: “Coach Hatchell came in at halftime yesterday and pretty much ate our faces off. She was really upset about that. She told us we had to come out stronger today. This is one of my better games in a while. We look pretty good. I think we’re going to do well against the stronger opponents coming up.”
Buckland: “When I’m hot it raises my confidence but it also raises my teammates’ confidence. I wouldn’t be able to catch the ball if they weren’t passing it to me, and if Waltiea weren’t scoring inside I wouldn’t be able to get open outside. It creates a hole for the team. We have such a well-rounded team it makes us hard to play against.”
What does it all mean?
That the Tar Heels can be pretty intimidating against an outgunned opponent, and that things appear headed in the right direction for UNC.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Hillary Fuller’s three-point play for UNC to make it 91-37.
UNC: Won 6.
UNCA: Won 2.
UNC leads 5-0.
UNC vs. Ohio State, Wednesday, 7 p.m.
UNCA at South Florida, Wednesday, 7 p.m.