Tar Heels win, get good news on Sylvia Hatchell front

Nov. 05, 2013 @ 10:47 PM

Seven Tar Heels scored in double figures as the UNC women’s basketball team beat Wingate, 93-61 in an exhibition game at Carmichael Arena on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, the Tar Heels — who tip off the regular season on Friday at home against Air Force — received some good news about sidelined head coach Sylvia Hatchell, who has been undergoing treatment for leukemia at UNC’s Lineberger Cancer Center.

“Her spirits are very good,” interim coach Andrew Calder said. “Hopefully, she can possibly go home on Thursday or Friday. She has a chance to get out of the hospital, and we’ll welcome her back, hopefully, soon.”

In the meantime, Hatchell is involved with the team on a daily basis.

“I talk to her every day,” Calder said. “I need her input. She watched the last game, and we discussed it. She’ll watch this game, and we’ll discuss it. She watches practice every day.”

Tuesday night, Wingate pulled to within one point, at 18-17, midway through the first half, but North Carolina closed the half with a 33-10 run.

Freshman Allisha Gray sparked the first half run, scoring 12 points off the bench in the first half. Gray led all Tar Heels with 15 points for the game and added four steals on defense.

“Allisha did a little gambling tonight,” Calder said. “She got a couple steals but needs more defensive discipline. She’s going to be able to come into the game and knock down shots to give us an offensive boost.”

Like the rest of the team, however, Gray’s outside shot wasn’t falling. She missed all six of her 3-pointers. “Here’s what I love about Allisha,” Calder said. “She came in and didn’t make her outside shot. So she went in and got three offensive rebounds in the first half. You’ve got to find another way to contribute to the team, and she did a great job of that.”

After shooting 52.6 percent in the first half, Carolina made just 15 of 40 from the field in the second. For the game, the Tar Heels made 5 of 27 3-pointers.

“I thought we got some good shots,” Calder said. “I know you’re going to ask about the threes, but a good shot’s a good shot, whether it goes in or not. We got some good looks that didn’t go. We will knock those down. I have confidence ... We’re just going to keep shooting.”

Calder wants to see more commitment to getting the ball into the post.

“We’re trying to get a balance between inside and outside basketball,” Calder said. “We need to get so many touches in the paint, whether we pass it in there or drive it in there.”

“I think we had players open in post,” Calder said. “We’ve got to do a little better job delivering the ball in there and moving our feet in the post. We tend to stand a little bit. We need to move and demand the ball inside.”

Despite Calder’s concerns, the Tar Heels shot 25 of 33 in the paint, outscoring Wingate 50-14 inside.

Xylina McDaniel recorded a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Brittany Rountree had a team-high 5 assists with no turnovers.