Looking to end the losing skid, UNC women's basketball set to host Pittsburgh

In the midst of a four-game losing streak, the UNC women's basketball program returns home on Thursday night as they host Pittsburgh in ACC play.
North Carolina v Duke
North Carolina v Duke / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

Following four consecutive losses, including back-to-back overtime defeats, the UNC women's basketball program hopes to get back on track on Thursday night when they return home to host Pittsburgh.

7-18. ACCNX. . 6:00 PM EST. 866. Thursday, February 15, 2024. UNCWBB Pitt. 15-9. 441

The good news is that one of these two teams will end their winless streak on Thursday night. Pittsburgh has struggled throughout ACC play, having lost 10 of their 11 conference games, including each of the last five. It's been a tough stretch for the Panthers, who have lost each of those five games by 16 points or more.

Both teams will come into this game hungry for a win, as the Tar Heels will certainly want to pick up a victory in front of the home crowd. With a small stretch of the regular season remaining, it will be important for the UNC women's basketball program to get back on track, as they hope that Thursday could potentially be the start of that path.

Key to Victory for North Carolina

The UNC women's basketball program is 9-0 when they score 69 points or more.

In each of the last five games, the Tar Heels have not reached that mark, going 1-4 in that span.

Catching our drift?

Offensive efficiency is going to be critical down the stretch, as North Carolina needs to get back to scoring at a high rate. Other than Deja Kelly, who has really turned it on as of late offensively, and the steady contributions from Alyssa Ustby and Lexi Donarski, the Tar Heels seem to be lacking consistent offense from the rest of the roster.

More offensive rhythm would certainly help, especially with regard to getting Kelly better (and easier) looks. Look for Courtney Banghart to try to make life a bit easier for her top scoring threats, as the goal will be to get them in a rhythm shooting the basketball early and often on Thursday night in Chapel Hill.

Something to Watch For

Liatu King has been an absolute force for the Panthers, averaging 18.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per-contest. She's made the most of her senior season, even though her team has struggled for the majority of the year.

It will be interesting to see how the Tar Heels elect to defend her, especially if they go into zone defense. Expect to see Banghart throw multiple bodies at King, as North Carolina will likely give her different looks in an effort to slow her down on both sides of the floor.

Projected Starters

No. 1 Alyssa Ustby (Sr. 6-1) 12.1 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 3.6 apg
No. 5 Maria Gakdeng (Jr. 6-3) 9.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.5 apg
No. 10 Reniya Kelly (Fr. 5-7) 4.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.3 apg
No. 20 Lexi Donarski (Gr. 6-0) 10.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.3 apg
No. 25 Deja Kelly (Sr. 5-8) 17.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.1 apg