UNC Women's Basketball ready for road clash with Georgia Tech

Courtney Banghart and the UNC women's basketball program will look to build a winning streak as they hit the road to face ACC foe Georgia Tech on Thursday.
North Carolina v Notre Dame
North Carolina v Notre Dame / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

Following a solid Sunday afternoon victory over Virginia, the UNC women's basketball program is back in action on Thursday night, this time on the road in Atlanta.

441. ACC Network. Thursday, January 18. UNCWBB vs GT. 12-5. 12-5. 436. . 6:00 PM EST

This is another important ACC contest for Courtney Banghart's team, as the Tar Heels will look to build some momentum before heading home to host No. 13 ranked Louisville. Georgia Tech was playing good basketball in conference play before suffering a blowout loss to Duke in Durham just a few days ago.

Back on their home court, it's expected that the Yellow Jackets will be coming into this game looking to right the ship. For the Tar Heels, it is vital that they don't let them do that, as neither team can really afford to lose this game at this point in conference play.

This will be the only time these two teams meet this season, as this one is lined up to be another close contest.

Key to Victory for North Carolina

Coming into this game, Georgia Tech is a perfect 8-0 when they outshoot their average of 43.1% from the field.

As we already know, this UNC women's basketball team is focused on providing a strong defensive effort each and every game.

Safe to say this will be the difference maker in this one.

Georgia Tech has been very good on its home floor, so it will certainly be a challenge for North Carolina to not let them get going offensively. If the Tar Heels can put together another strong defensive effort, the odds will certainly be in their favor to win this one, especially if they can also control the glass on both sides of the floor.

Something to Watch For

Paulina Paris started in the victory over Virginia, but only played 27 second total in the second half. Courtney Banghart elected to use different lineups, as freshman Reniya Kelly started the second half while Banghart elected to use bigger lineups for the majority of the final 20 minutes of play.

Is this the game that we'll see a change in the starting lineup?

If Banghart wants Deja Kelly to be the primary ball handler, it wouldn't be a surprise to see someone like Anya Poole start at the "four," allowing Alyssa Ustby to play the "three," which is her natural position. You may also see Reniya Kelly, who is starting to get into her groove offensively, drawing the start in the event a switch is made. Indya Nivar, who has been very good in a reserve role, is also someone who could be inserted into the starting lineup.

It will be something to watch as this plays out, but Paris' minutes have diminished, especially in the second half. The question remains: is now the time for a change, or will the Tar Heels stick to the status quo?

Projected Starters

No. 1 Alyssa Ustby (Sr. 6-1) 12.6 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 3.5 apg
No. 2 Paulina Paris (So. 5-9) 5.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.5 apg
No. 5 Maria Gakdeng (Jr. 6-3) 10.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 0.6 apg
No. 20 Lexi Donarski (Gr. 6-0) 10.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.1 apg
No. 25 Deja Kelly (Sr. 5-8) 15.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.1 apg