UNC Women’s Basketball Program Seeking Sweep Of Virginia This Weekend

The UNC Women's Basketball program moved to 7-1 in the ACC with their win over Miami and will now look to complete a sweep against rival Virginia.
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The UNC Women's Basketball program defeated Miami on Thursday night 66-61, picking up their fourth straight victory and moving to 7-1 in conference play. The Tar Heels will look to extend that winning streak and stay atop the ACC this weekend as they travel to Charlottesville, Virginia, for a rematch with the Cavaliers.

CW Network. Sunday, Jan 28. UNC WBB vs UVA. 9-10. . 12:00 PM. 441. 446. 15-5

When they take the floor on Sunday, it will be exactly two weeks since the Tar Heels and Cavaliers first played earlier this season. During the first contest, the Tar Heels won 81-68 in Carmichael Arena after outscoring the Cavaliers by 12 in the final quarter of the game.

Virginia shot 8-19 from beyond the arc in Chapel Hill, good for 42.1% and allowing them to stay in a close contest with North Carolina heading into the fourth quarter before the Tar Heels were eventually able to pull away.

Key to Victory for North Carolina

It has to be three-point defense. This is the only answer. We have seen the UNC Women's basketball team put together balanced scoring on the offensive end in back-to-back games versus Louisville and Miami. However, against the Hurricanes, the biggest reason it was a close contest was because of the three-point defense.

Over half of Miami's made field goal attempts (21) were from beyond the arc as the Hurricanes were 12-30 (40.0%) from three-point range. When we look at the most recent game the Tar Heels have played and the comparison between the last time Virginia and North Carolina met, defending the perimeter will be crucial.

In the first matchup, Virginia was didn't make as many three's as Miami did, but were still efficient. The UNC Women's Basketball program takes pride in their effort on the defensive end of the floor, and certainly needs to hone back in on defending beyond the arc to avoid any potential upset the Cavaliers might have in mind.

Teams that have beat North Carolina (Florida State) or gave the Tar Heels problems in conference play have done so by making three-pointers. It'll be another key on Sunday versus the Cavaliers.

Something to Watch For

The offensive production from Reniya Kelly provided a huge boost to the Tar Heels early in the first half against Miami as she began the night 2-2 from three-point range providing six early points. That contribution combined with the rest of the starters beginning to contribute scoring takes the pressure off Alyssa Ustby and Deja Kelly to have 20+ point outings night in and night out.

This is now two consecutive games versus Louisville and Miami that we have seen four or more players score in double figures. Having multiple offensive weapons is important, but If that scoring production can find its way to the bench too, it could be a huge boosts. That boost would provide Courtney Banghart with the opportunity to build even more depth on this team as February approaches and the Tar Heels continue to improve and battle for the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship.

Projected Starters

No. 1 Alyssa Ustby (Sr. 6-1) 12.6 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.5 apg

No. 5 Maria Gakdeng (Jr. 6-3) 10.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.6 apg

No. 10 Reniya Kelly (Fr. 5-7) 3.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.4 apg

No. 20 Lexi Donarski (Gr. 6-0) 10.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.2 apg

No. 25 Deja Kelly (Sr. 5-8) 16.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.3 apg