Basketball fans from across Scotland descended upon The Peak, Stirling as Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell brought her University of North Carolina Tar Heels to town. In front of a full hall, Scotland Women’s Select were looking to impress against one of the NCAA’s premium colleges – the squad consisting of homegrown internationals, WBBL and National League talent.
Despite only having a few day’s preparation, Scotland jumped out of the gates with a high intensity that would characterise their performance and made the visitors work for every possession. It was the Tar Heels, however, that put a quick stamp on the contest on the back of an early 13-0 run – debutant Paris Kea racing to double-digits. After 10 minutes the Tar Heels held a 23-16 advantage.
It was all about the shooting of Stephanie Watts in 2nd quarter, the star guard seemingly poured in three pointers at will. Watts finished the half with 16 points to help North Carolina build a daunting 51-29 lead.
Both sides continued to work hard after the break, with the visiting Emily Sullivan controlling the paint to good effect on both ends of the floor. Up 78-45 with just 10 minutes to play, the Tar Heels looked to their new crop of talent to see out the game.
As the final buzzer sounded the scoreboard read North Carolina 107 ScotlandWomen’s Select 54.
North Carolina: Stephanie Watts 26/4; Paris Kea 19/5; Emily Sullivan 17/4
Scotland Women’s Select: Dee Hayward 16/7; Erin McDonnell 12/9; Yhana Van Wees 9/8
Full reaction to follow.