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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC women's basketball wins Goombay Splash event with 58-37 victory against Washington

Sophomore guard Alyssa Ustby (1) dribbles the ball at the women's basketball game against NC A&T on Nov. 9 at Carmicahel Arena. UNC won 92-47.

North Carolina sophomore Alyssa Ustby’s dynamic playmaking led the UNC women’s basketball team (6-0) to a 58-37 win over the Washington Huskies (2-3) on Saturday, crowning the Tar Heels as the 2021 Goombay Splash Championship winners.

What happened?

Both teams took a while to get their offenses going on Saturday, but the Tar Heels managed to take an 18-9 lead heading into the second period. Once UNC got into a rhythm, the team increased its lead to 32-13 by halftime. North Carolina would extend its lead to 29 as the game winded down. Even though the Tar Heels only scored 58 points, marking their lowest scoring scoring output of the season, their lights-out defensive play helped them get the win. 

Who stood out? 

The two big stars of the game were sophomore guards Alyssa Ustby and Deja Kelly. Ustby was determined as the most valuable player of the game, and Kelly was named to the Goombay Splash All-Star Team. Ustby corralled nine rebounds in the contest and scored nine points, while Kelly scored 11 points. Ustby and Kelly scored 23 and 15 points, respectively, in Friday's win against VCU, and they averaged 16 and 13 points in the two-day Goombay Splash event.

When was it decided?

The game was decided when North Carolina shut down the Huskies’ offense in the first half, only allowing 13 points from the Huskies in the period. The Tar Heels forced two shot clock violations in the first quarter, and this playmaking style carried over throughout the rest of the game. 

Although the Huskies did make a late offensive push in an attempt to make the game closer, the Tar Heels maintained a healthy lead until the clock hit zeroes. Defensively, North Carolina allowed Washington to shoot just 28 percent in the game, as the Huskies only made 14 out of their 50 shots attempts.

Why does it matter?

The Tar Heels moved their record to 6-0, remaining undefeated on the season. Their defensive shutdown of the Huskies’ offense reflected the talent that they have on that side of the ball, which needed to show itself when the team needed it the most. 

The Tar Heels scored just 58 points in the contest, but their defensive play showed a calm confidence when it came to maintaining the lead. Key players such as Kelly and Ustby helped the Tar Heels put up points when they needed them, while other players like redshirt junior guard Eva Hodgson and sophomore guard Kennedy Todd-Williams found the net as well. The Tar Heels showed out on the defensive side of the court, and this ended up mattering the most when it came to determining the winner of the game. 

When do they play next?

The North Carolina women’s basketball team will find itself on the road to face Minnesota on Wednesday evening in a Big Ten and ACC inter-conference matchup. The Tar Heels will aim to stay undefeated with a win, further establishing themselves as an ACC contender.

@dthsports |

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