UNC Women's Basketball: History from Ustby leads to blowout victory

Alyssa Ustby made history while the UNC women's basketball program picked up a dominant victory over No. 25-ranked Syracuse on Thursday night.

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
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On Monday, Syracuse was one of the teams that essentially knocked the UNC women's basketball program out of the AP Top 25 Poll to kick off the new year.

Just a few days later, Courtney Banghart's squad made a STATEMENT, led by a historic performance from senior forward Alyssa Ustby.

UNCWBB/Syracuse. 75. 441. Final. 51. 445

The Tar Heels snapped Syracuse's eight-game winning streak with their 24-point victory on Thursday night in Chapel Hill. Those in attendance not only saw the Tar Heels blow out their conference foe, but saw the performance from Ustby that will be remembered for quite some time.

Ustby became the first UNC women's basketball player ever to record a triple-double. The Rochester, Minnesota native is just the third UNC basketball player ever to accomplish the feat, as she only needed three quarters to do so! She finished the night with 16 points, 16 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists, as she did a little bit of everything to help lead her team to victory.

The passing ability of Ustby was on display early, as she found open teammates early and often. One of those beneficiaries was Maria Gakdeng, who scored a game-high 22 points.

Although the Tar Heels failed to pull away in the first half, the second half was dominated by the team in Carolina Blue. They outscored the Orange 25-6 in the third quarter, a run that essentially secured the victory.

In a game where Deja Kelly knocked down just three of her 15 shot attempts, it was the trio of Gakdeng, Ustby and Lexi Donarski who carried the scoring load. The trio combined for 52 of the Tar Heels 75 points, as they actually outscored their opponent in the process.

This was the type of win the UNC women's basketball program needed, as they proved that they should be regarded as one of the top teams in the country. On a special night in Chapel Hill, a historic performance from Alyssa Ustby will be the storyline, as the Tar Heels hope they can build upon this exciting victory as ACC play continues to roll on.

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