The Tar Heel women’s basketball team improved to 12-1 with a 71-56 win over the Albany Great Danes Tuesday at Carmichael Arena.

The victory was a bittersweet one for the Lady Heels as it was their first game playing without their All-ACC forward Xylina McDaniel, who likely will miss the rest of the season after tearing a muscle in her leg.

Her teammates rose to the challenge, realizing that with her absence they would need to provide additional contributions to replace the sophmore’s 11.2 point per game scoring average.

That extra spark, and those extra points, came in the form of sophomore guard Jessica Washington, who came off the bench to lead the Heels in scoring with 16 after only averaging five a game so far this season.

Allisha Gray also scored 15 points for UNC, to go along with 14 from Stephanie Mavunga, McDaniel’s partner in the frontcourt.

The Great Danes dropped to 7-6 on the season, but it was definitely not due to a poor performance from their star.  Forward Shereesha Richards put in a season high 34 points for a team that only scored 56 altogether and failed to hit a three-pointer.

Next up on the schedule for the Tar Heels is a home game on Friday against East Tennesee State.