UNC Basketball: Tar Heels fall to Hokies in disappointing home loss

It was a tough weekend for the UNC basketball program, as both the men’s and women’s teams fell in disappointing home losses.

Dara Mabrey scored a team-high 18 points, and Virginia Tech beat North Carolina by a final score of 72-63 at Carmichael Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Mabrey hit just 2-of-9 field goals, and 2-of-7 from three-point range, but knocked down all 12 of her free throw attempts on the game. Elizabeth Kitley added 17 points on a 7-for-10 shooting performance, and Aisha Shepard scored 15.

The Hokies shot less than 35 percent for the game, and connected on just six of their 21 three-point attempts. They missed eight free throws, too, but still managed to beat the Tar Heels by nine points.

North Carolina was led by Taylor Koenen, who scored a game-high 19 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the floor and 6-of-8 from the free throw line. She also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds in 39 minutes of play. Shayla Bennett scored 14 points on a difficult 5-for-20 shooting performance, but dished out a game-high six assists. Janelle Bailey added 13 points and six rebounds, while Malu Tshitenge and Leah Church scored eight points a piece.

The Tar Heels’ shooting woes continued as they shot just 32.3 percent for the game and 9.1 percent from long-range. Similar to the men’s team the day prior, the Tar Heels missed 10 of their 32 free throw attempts on the game, as well as committing 14 turnovers and 25 fouls.

They had opportunities to win the game, but a 3-for-15 shooting performance in the fourth quarter doomed the Tar Heels. The Hokies made just enough plays to come out victorious, and improve their record to 17-6 overall, and 7-5 in Atlantic Coast Conference play. The Tar Heels, on the other hand, fell to 16-8 on the season, and 7-6 in conference play. It was a costly defeat for the Tar Heels, who have lost back-to-back games, and are battling for a spot in the NCAA Tournament’s field of 68.

They’ll be back in action on Thursday, February 13 when they take on the Syracuse Orange in Chapel Hill.

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