CHAPEL HILL, NC -- After a one-point loss to Gardner-Webb on Friday, the Tar Heels would begin in full force Sunday as they faced the Oregon Ducks in Oregon's season opener, but the home team's efforts wouldn't be enough to hold back the Ducks.
The Heels were looking for a repeat of last year's win against the Ducks. Oregon, along with UNC, both started with freshman players as #22-ranked UNC tries to make up for the loss of Stephanie Mavunga and Allisha Gray, who dominated the game last year. The unranked Ducks are making up for the loss of two seniors.
UNC kept its fast-paced game moving, never slowing down for the Ducks to lead early on, ending the first quarter 24-18.
The Ducks would start off with freshman Maite Cazorla, as their point guard -- something new, because in the past the Ducks have not had a true point guard. Cazorla didn't play like a freshman, though; dominating the court with three steals in the first half and nine steals overall.
The Heels were strong throughout, getting the ball to Jamie Cherry, who did not disappoint. Rookie season disappeared quickly for both of these teams as UNC freshman Destinee Walker became the leading scorer for the Heels and showed off her talent with a smooth layup assisted by Stephanie Watts in the Third.
Ducks super starter senior Jillian Alleyne was pretty quiet, constantly sitting in and out of the game with foul trouble. Jacinta Vandenberg and Lexi Petersen also were in foul trouble, causing the Ducks to take out some of the starting players.
Coming back in the second half, the Ducks brought back their starting players. Alleyne, back for the entire game, made up for lost time, catching the rebounds and playing a strong defense.
Sophomores Petersen and Lexi Bando, were a double threat to Carolina's defense with their three-point shots -- nothing but net for both ladies. Petersen scored 14, and Bando scored 18 making her the leading scorer for the Ducks.
Let's just say the Ducks are HAPPY about this win:
WE JUST BEAT NORTH CAROLINA! pic.twitter.com/EWjt4SdvPA— Elizabeth Brenner (@ElizBrenner) November 15, 2015