CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Coming off a win against Florida A&M, the North Carolina women' s basketball team placed another mark in the win column, while hosting the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Women's Basketball Challenge at Carmichael Arena. Fairleigh Dickinson University of New Jersey served as the first challenger for the Heels.
UNC came out confident in the first quarter. Just a minute in, and the Tar Heels' Destinee Walker showed off her talents with a tricky, close to out of bounds assist to N'Dea Bryant for the layup.
The Heels saw a slight drop in momentum, playing a little sloppy as Knights' senior guard Kelsey Cruz soared in for the steal and the layup.
Hillary Summers, UNC's 6'2 forward, who didn't need to jump when blocking the Knights, played with aggression throughout the game, whether it was at the net for the rebound or scoring for the Heels. Summers was the leading scorer putting up 20 points and 13 in rebounds for a career-high.
"We have a really good offense, so it's kind of easy I just get to the right spot and our guards are really talented, so they're able to get it to me," Summers said after having a career-high performance.
Fairleigh Dickinson's Kelsey Cruz would be the leading scorer for the Knights. Only four of the Knights players, between the starters and substitutions, scored. Cruz put up 16 points.
Bryant was quiet the last couple of games, but dominated against the Knights with her steals. She managed to always get a hand on the ball. Bryant's steals in the first half and assists from her teammates, would help make Bryant the second leading scorer for the Heels, ending with 15 for a career high.
With two seconds on the clock in the first half, the Knights' Brianna Thomas fouled UNC's Erika Johnson, sending her to the line to help boost the score and end the half 30 to 22, with the Heels leading.
The anticipation of the night though would be if UNC's Xylina McDaniels would be playing, as head coach Slyvia Hatchell hinted she would see the court this weekend. McDaniels returned in full force in the second half.
One play that encapsulated the presence of McDaniel was when Walker was inches away from the out of bounds, and seemingly the ball was lost and going to no one, but McDaniel dove to tap the ball back to Walker for the layup and assist.
Guard Jamie Cherry broke her nose in the second half of the game, but Coach Hatchell will still play her, "Jamie's got a broken nose, but were just going to get her mask, and she's got to play," Said Hatchell.
The Heels ended with a win of 64 to 46 and will come back Saturday to play Iona.