UNC Women's Basketball dominates Western Carolina

In a game that the UNC women's basketball program needed to win, they did so in absolute dominant fashion on Friday night in Chapel Hill.

2023 Invesco QQQ Basketball Hall of Fame Women's Showcase - Connecticut v North Carolina
2023 Invesco QQQ Basketball Hall of Fame Women's Showcase - Connecticut v North Carolina / G Fiume/GettyImages

The UNC women's basketball program left little doubt on Friday night, as they rolled to a convincing victory over Western Carolina in non-conference action.

441. Final. 36. 2472. UNCWBB SCORE. 96

Before we fully get into this game, let's state the obvious: this was a game that North Carolina was expected to win in dominant fashion.

Although it was a blowout against a Catamounts team that was completely overmatched, there are plenty of good takeaways to look at if you're North Carolina.

Let's start with the absolute dominant performance from senior forward Alyssa Ustby. The Rochester, Minnesota not only tied her career-high in points (23), but she also filled up the stat sheet. Along with her 23 points, Ustby recorded 9 rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocks, as she was simply a matchup nightmare for the visiting Catamounts.

Injuries have been an issue for Courtney Banghart's team, but they did get some reinforcements back on Friday night.

After missing the last two games, Paulina Paris returned and started and was brilliant. The sophomore guard knocked down six of her eight shot attempts en route to a 16-point outing. She also did a little of everything, recording four rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

Teonni Key, who missed the first 10 games of the season, was also back in action, as she set a career-high in rebounds (10). In limited action, Key also scored seven points and blocked three shots, as her ability to impact the game on both sides of the floor was well on display.

In a game where Deja Kelly and Lexi Donarski combined for 12 total points, the Tar Heels received scoring from other options. Indya Nivar had 15 points off the bench, knocking down seven of her eight shot attempts. Maria Gakdeng also added 10 to round out the four Tar Heels in double-figures.

This is a game that Banghart and her staff hope they can build on as they prepare to take on Oklahoma in the Jumpman Invitational on Tuesday night. With the Tar Heels looking like they are finally getting closer to full strength, maybe it won't be long before we get to see what this team could do when all the pieces (or most of them at least) are able to contribute.

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