CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina – Redshirt junior guard GiGi Smith led UNCW with 21 points, including 14 in the second half, but North Carolina used a blistering start from the field to build an early and never looked back en route to an 82-55 victory over the Seahawks in Carmichael Arena on Wednesday afternoon.
The Tar Heels snapped their three-game losing streak while upping their record to 6-4 on the season. UNCW, meanwhile, dropped to 5-3 after losing for the second time in three games.
Redshirt junior guard Stephanie Watts erupted for a season-high 35 points in the win for Carolina, making 12-of-20 shots from the field, including a 9-for-16 showing from three-point range. The Wesley Chapel, N.C., native scored 23 of her 35 points in the first half as the Tar Heels sprinted to a 55-32 advantage.
Sophomore center Janelle Bailey and junior guard Taylor Koenen each added a double-double for the Tar Heels. Bailey, the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman-of-the-Year, tallied 13 points with 12 rebounds while Koenen authored her first double-double of the year with 11 points and 12 boards.
Junior guard Shayla Bennett added 16 points and eight assists for the Tar Heels in the victory.
Smith paced UNCW by recording her second career 20-point performance while grabbing six rebounds. The Norfolk, Va., native was also a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe.
Redshirt senior guard Shrita Parker contributed 14 points for the Seahawks with five rebounds.
Key Moment: North Carolina made six of its first eight shots from the field in the opening four minutes as the Tar Heels built a 15-4 lead they never relinquished.
Up Next: UNCW takes a 13-day break for fall semester final exams before visiting Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Dec. 18, for a 7 p.m. matchup against the Panthers.