CHAPEL HILL — Facing a Northwood program that lost just two conference games in its two previous seasons, Chapel Hill blew out the previously unbeaten Chargers 72-23 Tuesday in the first Big Eight Conference game for both teams.
That was the fewest points scored by any Northwood team coached by Cameron Vernon, whos never suffered through a losing season since he took over the Chargers five years ago.
We had a week to work on it, and we had the Xs and Os in place to handle their pressure and their traps, Vernon said. But when you come out and face the kind of pressure they out on you, our girls minds just went blank. We went blank out there.
Never trailing in the game, Chapel Hill (7-0) held Northwood (6-1) without a basket for a stretch of 22:35, extending from midway through the first quarter to midway through the third.
Northwood was within 8-6 and backdoor layup and free throw by Mariah Morrow with 3:48 left in the first quarter. Chapel Hill then went on a 15-0 run over the next 12:41 to break open the game, sparked by six points apiece by Jasmine Suitt and Autumn West.
Chapel Hill played its entire bench before taking a 35-11 lead at halftime.
I thought we played good, aggressive defense, Chapel Hill coach Sherry Norris said, noting that Northwoods only five points in the last 15:48 of the first half came on five free throws in the last 2:57 of the second quarter.
By games end, all but one Tiger scored, led by Wests 16 points. Jamella Smith added 12 and Raziyah Farrington 11.
Shontai Totten led Northwood with seven points.
The Tigers performance atoned some for their desultory defense played the previous Friday in a 65-47 win at 4A East Chapel Hill, Smith suggested.
We played kind of flat at East Chapel Hill, Smith said. So (co-captain) Catherine Romaine and I told the other players that, if we want to win, we had to play better than we showed, and that starts with defense.
Chapel Hill forced Northwood into 14 turnovers in the first half, 26 total.
The Chargers missed their last 15 shots from the field in the first half and then their first four of the second. Totten broke the drought with a a 3-point basket she banked in with 5:05 left in the third quarter. That still left Chapel Hill up 44-14.
Tuesdays win was Chapel Hills 26th straight at home since a 44-42, Carolina-6 Conference loss Jan. 10, 2012, to Cardinal Gibbons, which was also the Tigers last loss to a conference opponent.
Boys: Chapel Hill downs Northwood
Playing in Pittsboro while the girls were in Tiger Gym, the Chapel Hill boys team had to hold off a second-half Northwood rally before downing the Chargers 57-52.
Chapel Hill (5-3, 1-0 Big Eight) ran out to a 21-10 in the first 12 minutes, but Northwood (2-4, 0-1) trimmed that to a 32-26 margin by halftime and got within 39-37 by the start of the fourth quarter.
Andy Gillespie led the Tigers with 14 points. David Caraher scored 10 for Chapel Hill, and Brian Thorton had 8.
Elijah Washington led Northwood with 13 points. Jared Worley and Kadarus Rone put in 9 apiece.