UNC Women's Basketball looks to cap off week with second top-10 win

After defeating No. 6-ranked NC State, the UNC women's basketball program hopes to pick up another top-10 victory against No. 8 Virginia Tech.
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

Thursday was an exciting night at Carmichael Arena, as the UNC women's basketball program picked up a win over No. 6-ranked NC State.

The next question is: can the Tar Heels finish the week with yet another top-10 victory?

North Carolina will have the chance to do so as they travel to Blacksburg, Virginia to take on the No. 8-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies.

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These two teams are very familiar with each other, having met prior on February 4. That game went into overtime, as the Hokies found a way to take over the extra time to secure a 70-61 victory in Chapel Hill.

Once again (similar to NC State), the Tar Heels hope to earn some revenge in the rematch.

Key to Victory for North Carolina

Prior to the NC State game, UNC women's basketball great Ivory Latta said on the ACC Network how important it was for the Tar Heels to finish.

The goal remains the same for this game as well.

North Carolina fell apart down the stretch in the first matchup between these two teams, as they had a prime opportunity to secure a win but couldn't do so. In the rematch, the Tar Heels must be strong down the stretch, as creating good looks and protecting the basketball are going to be huge factors in this game.

If North Carolina can spread the ball around like it did on Thursday night, the Tar Heels will have a very good chance of pulling an upset in this one.

Something to Watch For

Alexandra Zelaya was the star off the bench for the UNC women's basketball program in their win over NC State, as her ability to stretch the floor was a huge advantage for the Tar Heels.

Based on how Courtney Banghart utilized her rotation on Thursday, don't be surprised if Zelaya sees a lot of minutes once again.

Especially with Elizabeth Kitley being a force for Virginia Tech, the Tar Heels may elect to play a bigger lineup to counter the Hokies size down low. Zelaya should have plenty of opportunities to shoot, especially from deep, as the Tar Heels hope she can replicate that success she had a few days ago.

Projected Starters

No. 1 Alyssa Ustby (Sr. 6-1) 12.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 3.7 apg
No. 5 Maria Gakdeng (Jr. 6-3) 9.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.6 apg
No. 20 Lexi Donarski (Gr. 6-0) 10.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.3 apg
No. 25 Deja Kelly (Sr. 5-8) 16.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.4 apg
No. 31 Anya Poole (Sr. 6-2) 2.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 0.3 apg