UNC Women's Basketball: Paulina Paris shines in return from injury

Paulina Paris had an effective outing in the UNC women's basketball program's 96-36 win against Western Carolina on Friday night.

North Carolina Tar Heels v South Carolina Gamecocks
North Carolina Tar Heels v South Carolina Gamecocks / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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Paulina Paris had a huge impact in her first game back for the UNC women's basketball program after missing the previous two games due to an undisclosed injury. The sophomore guard recorded 16 points on 6-8 shooting with three assists and three steals. Paris' success helped the Tar Heels take down the Western Carolina Catamounts 96-36.

Paris found herself in the starting lineup for the second time this season against West Carolina. She started just one of her previous eight games before her injury. Her minutes have gone up and down throughout the season, as she only averages about six points-per-game on 39.6% from the field. Prior to scoring 16 on Friday night, Paris' season-high in points was 15 against Gardner Webb in the season opener.

She was very efficient in the 26 minutes that she played, going 2-4 from three and knocking down both of her free throw attempts. This is a welcome sign for the UNC women's basketball program since Paris only had six threes going into the game. The 75% field goal percentage was her highest of the season, and the 50% three-point percentage was her second highest of the season. Paris also hit two threes against Davidson and three threes against Gardner Webb earlier this season.

Paris' contributions helped North Carolina hit their second-highest scoring mark this year. 96 points is the team's most since they scored 102 against Gardner Webb in the season opener. Prior to Friday night, the Tar Heels were held to under 70 points in seven consecutive games, averaging 51.7 points-per-game in that stretch.

The UNC woman's basketball program will look for more from Paulina Paris as they had into their final non-conference test of the season. The team will face the Oklahoma Sooners in the Jumpman Classic on December19th at 9:30 p.m. The invitational includes the men's and women's programs of UNC, Florida, Michigan and Oklahoma. The Tar Heels will look to tune things up before heading into conference play against Clemson on New Year's Eve.

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