by Mike Potter
CARMICHAEL ARENA/CHAPEL HILL UNC will take the floor for the first time this season with a healthy contingent of post players, and that might be tough news for today’s opponent.
The Tar Heels have had a ridiculous rash of injuries and other things keeping players out of the lineup, but today Laura Broomfield and Waltiea Rolle will be able to join center Chay Shegog in the paint.
The 6-foot forward Broomfield is averaging a double-double but has missed the last four games with a foot injury, while 6-6 Rolle will be in the lineup for the first time after the birth of her daughter Carlisa in the Bahamas on Nov. 8.
Poor Savannah State.
The Tigers put together the lowest point total against the Tar Heels in the history of the program, falling 74-21 after scoring eight points in the second half.
UNC’s leads 15-7 following a layup from the Tigers’ Rikiah Gatlin with 10:47 left in first the half, but goes on a 13-2 run including five points from She’la White to take control.
Freshman guard Brittany Rountree scores 15 to lead UNC, which gets 11 points and 12 rebounds from Shegog.
Broomfield finishes with seven points and eight rebounds in 15 minutes, Rolle four points and two rebounds in six minutes.
Jasmine Kirkland leads the Tigers with eight points.
The Tar Heels shoot only 39.1 percent but hold the Tigers to 17.6. UNC wins the rebound battle 59-31 and commits 16 turnovers to SSU’s 26.
They said it …
Sylvia Hatchell: “(This) felt good. We’re glad to have (6-foot-6 center) Waltiea (Rolle) and Broom (6-foot leading rebounder Laura Broomfield) back out there. Waltiea’s still got her shooting touch, but she got pretty winded. Her presence makes a big difference out there. We’re going to get a whole lot better as we keep moving along and getting people back out there.”
Cedric Baker: “I’ve got to give Carolina credit. Their big bodies kind of wore us down. We didn’t adapt to the conditions very well and we didn’t find the basket. They caused us to miss a lot of shots and they converted on the other end.”
Shegog: “The past couple of practices we’ve put a lot of emphasis on half-court defense, transition defense, everything defense. Today was really the day to show it. And I’m glad to have Broomfield and Waltiea back. We’re really looking forward to the rest of the season. It felt really good to have them out there. Krista (Gross) did a great job filling in for the ‘four’ and ‘five,’ but now she can play her natural (small forward) position.”
Rountree: “I can do better. My coaches and teammates keep pushing me in practice. I’m doing better getting into the flow.”
What does it all mean?
That the Tar Heels might make a run at the top of the ACC if the team can stay this healthy.
Stars of the game
3. Krista Gross.
Play of the game
Gross’ layup from White to make it 59-17 with 8:10 left.
UNC leads 1-0.
UNC: Won 2.
SSU: Lost 3.
UNC vs. N.C. Central, Friday, 7 p.m.
SSU vs. Coppin State, Jan. 7, 2 p.m.