With three natural posts among its 10 players in uniform Thursday, UNC was far too much for Savannah State.
Freshman guard Brittany Rountree scored 15 points to lead the Tar Heels while Chay Shegog added 11 points and 12 rebounds in her sixth double-double of the season, as UNC annihilated the Tigers 74-21 at Carmichael Arena.
The 21 points were the fewest ever scored against a Tar Heel team.
Forward Laura Broomfield, who has been averaging a double-double, played for the first time in five games since suffering a foot injury, finishing with seven points and eight rebounds in 15 minutes.
Waltiea Rolle, the 6-6 junior center, played for the first time this season after the birth of her daughter on Nov. 8, finishing with four points and two rebounds in six minutes.
“It felt good,” veteran Tar Heel Hatchell said about having most of her team back. “We’re glad to have Waltiea and Broom back out there. Waltiea’s still got her shooting touch, but she got pretty winded. Her presence makes a big difference out there. We’re going to get a whole lot better as we keep moving along and getting people back out there.”
Jasmine Kirkland’s eight points led Savannah State.
“The past couple of practices we’ve put a lot of emphasis on half-court defense, transition defense, everything defense,” Shegog said. “Today was really the day to show it. And I’m glad to have Broomfield and Waltiea back. We’re really looking forward to the rest of the season. It felt really good to have them out there. Krista (Gross) did a great job filling in for the ‘four’ and ‘five,’ but now she can play her natural (small forward) position.”
SSU went the first 7:53 of the second half without a point before Kirkland’s jumper from the left of the key made it 46-15.
“I’ve got to give Carolina credit,” said Tiger coach Cedric Baker, whose leading scorer Ezinne Kalu sat out the second half with a shoulder injury and finished with four points. “Their big bodies kind of wore us down. We didn’t adapt to the conditions very well and we didn’t find the basket. They caused us to miss a lot of shots and they converted on the other end.”
UNC’s lead was 15-7 following a layup from the Tigers’ Rikiah Gatlin with 10:47 left in the half, but went on a 13-2 run including five points from She’la White to take control.
“I can do better,” Rountree said. “My coaches and teammates keep pushing me in practice. I’m doing better getting into the flow.”
The Tar Heels shot only 39.1 percent but held the Tigers to 17.6. UNC won the rebound battle 59-31 and committed 16 turnovers to SSU’s 26.
UNC will host N.C. Central Friday night at 7.