CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Western Carolina women’s basketball strung together a strong showing in the first quarter, trailing just 18-14 before the Catamounts fell to North Carolina 92-55 Thursday in Carmichael Coliseum.
With North Carolina leading by four, 18-14, after the first period, the Tarheels pulled away outscoring the Catamounts 25-15 in the second quarter. UNC’s run was assisted by a four-plus minute scoring drought by WCU and four turnovers in four straight possessions.
- Sophomore Jewel Smalls registered her second-straight double-double with a season and game-high 23 points along with 10 rebounds. Both led the team on the night.
- Redshirt junior Lauren LaPlant found some success from long range hitting three treys in the game-ending the contest with nine points.
- Redshirt senior Judith Martin Ruiz had a solid night with eight points, five rebounds, and five assists.
- North Carolina was led by Janelle Bailey’s 21 points.
Inside the Box Score
- After putting up double-figure scoring, 14 and 15, in the first two periods, the Catamounts struggled to find the basket in the third. WCU did not score in the third period until freshman Andrea Martin Ruiz hit a lay-up at 5:43.
- Western Carolina ended the third period scoring eight points all in the final five-plus minutes of the period. The Catamounts did not score a field goal in the final 3:03.
- Western Carolina came roaring back in the fourth period scoring 18 points after the single-digit scoring in the third. North Carolina also had its biggest scoring chunk in the fourth scoring 32 points in the final quarter.
- The Catamounts hit 10 three-pointers in the game – a season-high.
- WCU got 16 points inside the paint and 10 points off Tarheel turnovers.
- The Catamounts ripped down 31 rebounds while UNC had 45.
- UNC shot 45 percent from the field while the Catamounts shot 35.2.
News & Notes
- Smalls’ four three-pointers against North Carolina ties her career-high.
- Dating back to last season, Smalls has scored in double figures in eight consecutive games.
- Smalls’ double-double against UNC is the third double-double of her career. Her 23 points are the third time in her career she has scored 20 or more points in a game.
- Freshman Diarra Smith hit the first basketball of her Catamount career in the fourth quarter against the Tarheels.
Western Carolina travels to Elon Saturday for game two of the Catamounts three-game road swing. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. and the game can be seen on FloSports and heard on the Phoenix’s radio broadcast at WSOE 89.3 FM.