The University of North Carolina women’s basketball game improved to 3-0 on Sunday evening with a 65-50 win over Bucknell University in Carmichael Arena.
The game featured three Tar Heels in double digits, as junior guard Jamie Cherry and red-shirt sophomore Paris Kea scored 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Sophomore guard Stephanie Watts, who was ACC Freshman of the Year last season, kept up her impressive form, with 17 points and 11 rebounds, for her ninth career double-double.
Senior forward Claire DeBoer, who contributed 11 points, and sophomore forward Kaitlyn Slagus, who scored nine, led Bucknell.
The non-conference game featured eight ties and nine lead changes.
At no point in the first half did UNC break away from the Bisons. Their largest lead before halftime came with 34 seconds, as the Tar Heels held a four-point advantage.
They opened the second half with a 30-28 lead.
It was UNC’s inability to net shots from the paint in the first half that kept the game close, only making four of 12 attempts. The Tar Heels had a field-goal percentage of 27 percent in the first half, as well.
The second half of the game followed in a similar fashion initially, as the game remained close throughout the third period, with a 48-44 North Carolina lead.
UNC became more up-tempo in the second half, finding a rhythm as their shots began to fall more frequently, with a field-goal percentage rate of 37, however, Bucknell initially matched their pace.
It was in the fourth period that the Tar Heels were finally able to stifle Bucknell, limiting them to a six-point period, while UNC scored 17.
The Tar Heels finally gained their first double-digit lead in the fourth period with 4:32 remaining, as they led 55-44 after a three-pointer from Cherry.
Despite the final result of a 15-point win, UNC head coach Sylvia Hatchell credited Bucknell for a tough-fought game.
“They have a very, very good team,” she said. “I know they won 25 games last year. We were outsized a bit in there because their post game is so, so good. I thought our defense overall was pretty doggone good.”
Next for North Carolina is a three o’clock home game on Tuesday against Charleston Southern.