Missed opportunities come back to haunt UNC women's basketball in loss to NC State

The UNC women's basketball program couldn't capitalize on opportunities as they suffered a loss to in-state rival NC State on Thursday night.

North Carolina v NC State
North Carolina v NC State / Lance King/GettyImages

Missed opportunities.

That is the storyline of the UNC women's basketball program's loss to No. 5-ranked NC State, as the Tar Heels failed on multiple chances to tie or even take the lead late in the game on the road.

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Even with NC State missing 9 of its first 10 shots, the Tar Heels found themselves trailing after one quarter of play. The same could be said for the second quarter, as North Carolina entered the half down by seven.

However, the Tar Heels wouldn't go away, as Deja Kelly started to heat up offensively.

The senior guard scored 15 points in the quarter, helping her team cut the deficit to just one heading into the final quarter of play.

Unfortunately, the Tar Heels would regain the lead in the final frame, but were unable to hold onto it.

Kelly went down after colliding with an NC State defender, as it appeared she took a knee to the groin area. While Kelly took a breather, her team took the lead for a short period of time, only to hand it back to the Wolfpack for good.

Offensive slumps have been an issue for the Tar Heels, as the final 3:45 minutes of game time served as a very bad time to struggle putting the ball in the basket. You can point to numerous instances, such as a jump ball that went in favor of NC State to a Deja Kelly missed layup that took an unfortunate roll off the rim.

Even with the Wolfpack missing multiple free throw attempts down the stretch, the Tar Heels couldn't find a way to capitalize.

Kelly led all scorers with 21 points, while Alyssa Ustby put together another double-double performance in the loss. Maria Gakdeng also had a strong performance, finishing the night with a double-double of her own.

It's a frustrating loss for the Tar Heels, as missed opportunities hampered them from upsetting the No. 5-ranked team in the land. Riding a two-game losing streak, it doesn't get much easier in the near future, as the Tar Heels will welcome No. 17-ranked Virginia Tech to Chapel Hill for a Sunday afternoon contest.

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