|Photo by Agatha Donkar @brandnewkindof|
Garbage defense. Garbage transition game. Garbage officiating. And absolutely G A R B A G E shooting. All those rebounds were simply a byproduct of the coterie of clangs and airballs that plagued Carolina (and Appalachian State, too) all game long. I mean, the Heels' shot chart is just oceans of nothingness perforated by tiny pinpricks of Destinee Walker treys and one small bright cluster in the paint. If they hadn't been able to finish at the rim and hadn't gone to the stripe a whopping 32 times, they would have put up maybe 40 points on the day. Maybe.
There were flashes of hope amid the disaster. Hillary Summers showed off some nifty offense we hadn't seen before, and Stephanie Watts looked excellent handling the ball when Sylvia put a bigger lineup on the floor. Both came up huge defensively with a combined eighteen boards and seven blocks. Xylina McDaniel added three rejections of her own to go along with 5 points, 4 dimes, and 2 steals, further proof that she's getting her game back. Jamie Cherry poured in twenty points, though she still looks a little off since the broken nose. Des put up a 17-4-3 line with 4 steals to boot. It all looks very nice on paper.
In real time, it was a disjointed effort full of baffling mistakes and shots that refused to fall. The whole thing was ugly and sluggish and physical in all the wrong ways. A 23-14 turnover-to-assist ratio is all you need to know about how things played out. It was not good or joyful or pleasant to watch in any way. I'm glad it's over and we can move on.
Carolina won, by the way. Go Heels.