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The Daily Tar Heel

Kelly, Ustby show out in UNC women's basketball's 93-47 win over James Madison

UNC redshirt junior Eva Hodgson drives the ball down the court during a women's basketball game against James Madison University on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021.

The North Carolina’s women’s basketball team (8-0) clinched its eighth straight win in a 93-47 victory over James Madison (3-5) on Sunday afternoon. This makes the team undefeated as it heads into conference play within the next few weeks.

What happened?

The Tar Heels started strong in the first quarter, taking advantage of a weak, spread-out JMU defense. Jumping to an early 9-0 lead within the first two minutes of the first quarter, the Tar Heels dominated offensively. Sophomore guard Deja Kelly contributed to UNC’s 80 percent 3-point field goal percentage with a team-high of ten points in the first quarter. The Tar Heels also ended the first quarter with a 52.4 percent field goal percentage from the floor.

Entering the second quarter with a 17-point lead, North Carolina continued to dominate on the high-low offensive structure. On the flip side, UNC’s defense held the Dukes to only 11 points throughout the entire quarter. The Tar Heels were able to maintain their strong lead throughout the quarter, entering halftime with a score of 51-22 .

North Carolina started off the third quarter with a fast-break pass from Kelly downcourt to 6 foot-1 sophomore guard Alyssa Ustby for an easy basket. The Tar Heel defense remained sturdy throughout this quarter, holding the Dukes scoreless for over four minutes. The third quarter concluded with a score of 74-30, with the Tar Heels remaining on top.

Redshirt junior guard Eva Hodgson started off the fourth quarter with a clean 3-pointer assisted by sophomore guard Kennedy Todd-Williams. This basket secured Hodgson’s her 1000th career point after two previous seasons at William and Mary. North Carolina finished the game with a win over the Dukes with a final score of 93-47. 

Who stood out? 

Kelly has been a consistently standout offensive player for the Tar Heels, proving this again in her performance against James Madison. She posted a team-high 21 points in the game, and she went 3-3 from the 3-point line. 

Ustby also contributed to North Carolina’s strong offensive effort, posting 18 points in the match. She went 8-for-11 from the floor, which was the most shots on the team for the game.

When was it decided?

From the start of the game, it was obvious that the Tar Heels were a single unit on the court. They played efficiently offensively, alongside a tough defensive effort, which allowed them to boast an overall field goal percentage of 54 percent from the floor. 

Why does it matter?

This win gives the undefeated Tar Heels their eighth straight win, setting them up for an easy transition into their tough upcoming conference schedule. After two more nonconference matchups, UNC's ACC schedule will begin with an away matchup against Boston College.

When do they play next?

North Carolina is set to take on UNC-Asheville in Carmichael Arena on Sunday, Dec. 12th at 2 p.m. 

@DTHSports |

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