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Friday, December 30, 2011

Shegog, Gross lead Tar Heels to easy win over scrappy Eagles

Posted by on Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 10:13 PM

CARMICHAEL ARENA/CHAPEL HILL UNC takes the court against an MEAC opponent for the second straight day, this time with local rival N.C. Central coming to visit.

UNC center Chay Shegog
The No. 24 Tar Heels (9-2) had a lot of fun Thursday afternoon in a 74-21 rout of Savannah State, as both Laura Broomfield and Waltiea Rolle came back to help Chay Shegog give UNC one of the nation’s most imposing frontcourts.

Broomfield had missed four games including the rout loss to South Carolina with a foot injury, while Rolle was in the lineup for the first time since the birth of her child on Nov. 8.

NCCU (2-11), under long-time coach Joli Robinson, is at Carmichael for the fifth straight season, falling 97-40 last time. The Eagles, 0-4 in the series, are in their first season as full members of NCAA Division I.

It’s never really much of a challenge for the Tar Heels, but the Eagles keep it more respectable this time as UNC wins 79-42.

UNC leads 14-0 behind eight points from Krista Gross before Blaire Houston breaks the Eagles’ drought on a layup with 13:43 left in the first half.

NCCU cuts it to 25-16 on a Chasidy Williams layup at 6:04, but UNC ran off 16 straight ending in Shegog’s layup from Gross with 2:23 remaining in the period.

Shegog leads the Tar Heels with 20 points, followed by Gross with 15 points and 11 rebounds for her third double-double of the season and freshman Brittany Rountree with 11.

Williams has 15 points and eight rebounds for the Eagles, while freshman Kabrina Truesdale adds 10 points.

UNC shoots 47.7 percent to 30.0 for NCCU, outrebounds the Eagles 44-32 and commits 24 turnovers to NCCU’s 36.

They said it …
UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell: “I thought we started off really strong defensively. We were missing some shots early. We started off with good intensity and sort of lost it a little bit. But the second half Chay really battled and made her shots, Krista finished with a double-double and everybody was able to go in and help us out. We had too many ridiculous turnovers and we’ve got to take better care of the basketball. But we’re looking forward to ACC play.”

NCCU coach Joli Robinson: “We did some good things. Early in the game we had a lot of energy and later we were able to do some things we needed to do, but we weren’t able to sustain it through the game. We just gave up too many baskets on the inside, but they’re very big.”

Shegog: “I had a little rust with my shot. We had a long break and I was more in the weight room with conditioning. But I’ll get it together for ACC time. These were good games to get it together. We’re excited to keep moving forward.”

Gross: “I thought these were good games to come back from Christmas. We’re a young team, so just to get everybody out there and get them more experience and playing time was good. Conference play is going to be tough. To make sure everybody has that confidence is pretty important.”

Williams: “I always have fun when I come here. But I always know they’re going to block a couple of shots against me because of their size.”

What does it all mean?
That the Tar Heels seem to be back in rhythm for the start of ACC play, while NCCU is getting more comfortable playing in Chapel Hill.

Stars of the game
1. Shegog.
2. Gross.
3. Williams.

Play of the game
Shegog’s layup on a touch-pass from Gross to make it 31-16.

Series record

UNC leads 5-0.

UNC: Won 3.
NCCU: Lost 4.

Up next

UNC vs. Miami, Monday, 7 p.m.
NCCU vs. Florida A&M, Jan. 7, 2 p.m.

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