UNC Women's Basketball heads to Winston-Salem for Sunday night contest

Courtney Banghart and the UNC women's basketball program will look to build a winning streak as they travel to face the struggling Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

North Carolina's Alexandra Zelaya (0) takes the jump shot over N.C State's Maddie Cox (11) during
North Carolina's Alexandra Zelaya (0) takes the jump shot over N.C State's Maddie Cox (11) during / Steven Worthy / USA TODAY NETWORK

After defeating Pittsburgh on Thursday night in Chapel Hill, the UNC women's basketball program will look to build a win streak as they head to Winston-Salem to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

441. ACC Network. Sunday, February 18, 2024. 4-21. 448. 16-9. 6:00 PM EST. UNCWBB WF.

It's been a rough season for Wake Forest, as they come into this game with a 4-21 record. The Demon Deacons have lost 13 consecutive ACC contests, as they hope the streak will end on Sunday night on their home floor.

The UNC women's basketball program has struggled as of late, but you have to be encouraged with their performance in the win over Pittsburgh. The trio of Deja Kelly, Lexi Donarski and Alyssa Ustby were outstanding as they played a large part in ending the Tar Heels' four-game skid.

Although their record may deceive you, remember: in college basketball, ANYTHING can happen. The Tar Heels definitely don't want to be the ones to allow Wake Forest to pick up a win in ACC play, as they'll do whatever they can to ensure they return to Chapel Hill with a win.

Key to Victory for North Carolina

Offensive efficiency.

That was a huge bright spot in the win over Pittsburgh, as the Tar Heels shot 43.6% from the floor, 43.5% from three-point range and 73.9% from the charity strike.

Donarski heated up in the second half, knocking down five of her six three-pointers over the final 20 minutes of play. Kelly has been a frequent visitor to the free throw line, as she's been connecting at an elite level when she does get her opportunities.

Using the Pittsburgh game as a building block, it will be interesting to see if the Tar Heels can get going offensively once again. If they can score at an efficient pace, it will be tough for Wake Forest to keep up, as they come in averaging under 60 points-per-game.

Something to Watch For

Freshman Reniya Kelly, who was inserted back into the starting lineup due to injuries, was unavailable in the Tar Heels victory over Pittsburgh. It was described by the UNC women's basketball program as a "lower-body injury," as we'll have to see if the freshman will be availabe on Sunday night.

If she's not available, will the Tar Heels roll out the same starters as they did on Thursday? This lineup, which inserted Anya Poole with the starters, allows Alyssa Ustby to play her natural position and also provides North Carolina with a little extra size on the floor.

Courtney Banghart could also elect to use Indya Nivar along with the starters, but it appears likely that Nivar will remain as a reserve due to the Tar Heels' lack of available guards.

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. 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
No. 31 Anya Poole (Sr. 6-2) 2.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 0.4 apg