CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Four different players knocked down multiple three-point baskets for the Charleston Southern women’s basketball team, and the Buccaneers hung tough with No. 4 University of North Carolina in an impressive 76-67 loss Sunday afternoon at Dean E. Smith Center.
The game plan to stay with the Tar Heels was simple; shoot the lights out from behind the three-point line at any and all opportunities.
CSU didn’t waiver from the strategy, as the Buccaneers went 17-for-48 from behind the three-point line. Both marks are the most ever allowed by North Carolina in the 33 years of the program.
The Buccaneers were led by Kelsey Wasmer, who scored 19 points on 5-of-11 shooting from behind the line. Katie Tull was 6-for-16 from three and scored 18 points. The 16 attempts by Tull broke the school record for three’s attempted in a game. She also had five assists and five rebounds in a game-high 36 minutes.
Helen Terry was 3-for-14 from three-point land, and had herself an amazing performance running the point against UNC. She scored nine points, grabbed six rebounds, had four assists and recorded a game-high six steals in 35 minutes. UNC had six steals total and CSU finished with 11.
Lakeitha Alston hit her second-career three, and she finished with seven points and seven rebounds. Tina DeCarvalho was 2-for-5 from downtown and finished with six points and six rebounds.
The Buccaneers was outrebounded 46-43 overall, but held a 24-17 advantage on the offensive glass. The Tar Heels dominated the post, scoring 46 points in the paint to just six for CSU. Charleston Southern held UNC to just 1-of-10 from behind the three-point line.
Tierra Ruffin-Pratt led North Carolina with 16 points and eight rebounds, and Laura Broomfield recorded 14 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks on 6-of-8 shooting. Chay Shegog had eight points and eight rebounds, and Waltiea Rolle added 10 points.
Charleston Southern started the game with five-consecutive threes before Wasmer made the first two-point basket for the Buccaneers. She got fouled and converted the extra point to cut the lead to 21-18. Another three by Terry cut the lead to 23-21, and the road squad let the highly-ranked Tar Heels know that they were for real.
North Carolina went on a 14-1 run to take a 37-22 lead, but two three’s by Terry and DeCarvalho and an extra free throw by Lydia Johnson kept Charleston Southern in the game 37-29.
Nyree Williams made a layup with less than six seconds remaining in the opening half to give the home team a 46-33 advantage, and it looked like the Tar Heels would have the momentum heading into the break. Terry had other ideas, however. She took the inbounds pass as the clock ran down and threw up a prayer from just inside halfcourt that beat the buzzer and found the bottom of the net.
CSU took a 28-26 rebounding advantage into the break, but the paint was controlled by UNC as the Tar Heels blocked seven shots and had 26 points in the paint.
Tull drained a three to open the second half, and the Bucs made it clear they weren’t going anywhere.
UNC used a lull in the CSU defense to go from 50-42 to 65-43, a 15-1 run in the opening minutes of the second half. Instead of going away quietly, though, Charleston Southern fought back with a run of its own. Wasmer scored six points and Alston poured in five to respond with an 11-0 run of their own, and the lead was cut to 65-54.
North Carolina built a 76-61 lead with 3:14 to play, but two straight threes by Tull cut the lead to 76-67 with a minute to play. The Bucs couldn’t cut into the lead anymore despite two possessions, and the Tar Heels escaped with the nine-point victory.
North Carolina (5-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) entered the matchup allowing an average of 53 points per game this year, and the 67 points for CSU topped the 57 scored earlier in the season by College of Charleston, the 49 scored by Coastal Carolina University and the 37 scored by Presbyterian College. The margin was also the closest of the season, beating the 78-68 score against University of Nevada, Las Vegas earlier this season.
CSU (3-3, 0-0 Big South Conference) dropped to 0-8 all-time against the Tar Heels, but allowed the least amount of points ever in the series. The Buccaneers also scored more points against UNC than any other Buc team, breaking the high of 58 from the 1989-90 season. This was also the closest game ever in the eight-game history of the two programs.
Charleston Southern has another quick turnaround as the Buccaneers will travel to Greensboro, N.C., for a 7 p.m. matchup Dec. 1 against University of North Carolina-Greensboro.Related Item: Box Score