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Monday March 20th

UNC women's basketball returns to Carmichael Arena in win over UNCW

UNC red shirt senior Eva Hodgson (10) drives toward the basket during UNC's game against UNCW at Carmichael Arena on Wednesday, Dec 7, 2022.
Buy Photos UNC red shirt senior Eva Hodgson (10) drives toward the basket during UNC's game against UNCW at Carmichael Arena on Wednesday, Dec 7, 2022.

Junior wing Alyssa Ustby said there is nothing like being in Chapel Hill. 

After playing their first three games at home, the North Carolina women’s basketball team went on a road trip with included stops in Portland as well as Bloomington, Ind. This week, the team won 64-42 win over UNC Wilmington — and nobody was happier than Ustby.

“It feels like home to all of us who come from many states away," she said. "It’s just great to play in front of our fans and the energy, there’s nothing like it.”

Ustby rebounded from an uncharacteristic 4-for-15 shooting performance against Indiana, a game in which she scored single-digit points for the first time all year.

In the win, Ustby shot 80 percent from the field and led UNC in both points and rebounds with 16 and 10, respectively, to notch her third double-double of the year.

“It’s hard to keep Alyssa down,” head coach Courtney Banghart said. “She didn’t play well against Indiana. She watched film and was in my office and was able to regroup. She’s an experienced player, she’s more comfortable with the ball in her hands. Alyssa’s a kid you roll with good or bad or ugly.”

Despite Ustby's proficiency, the rest of the team struggled to knock down shots, recording just 16 makes at a 32 percent clip.

6-foot-4 UNCW center Lexi Jackson challenged the Tar Heels, recording six blocks. With Jackson locking down the paint, UNC had their second-lowest scoring output of the season.

“Tonight, I think when I break down the offense, I’m not sure I’ll love the shots that we got,” Banghart said. “That’s something that this experienced team has to figure out. We want to get great shots and our shooting percentage will improve when that happens.”

On the other side of the floor, North Carolina gave the Seahawks problems.

For all four quarters, UNCW was unable to gain any offensive traction and was limited to just 18 made field goals the entire game. Sophomore guard Destiny Adams helped lead the defensive charge for UNC and did a little bit of everything, recording four steals and two blocks, both career-highs.

“I feel like I was just playing my role,” Adams said. “I was just doing what the team needed me to do. That’s being aggressive, doing the little things and that’s just what I do.”

Playing her role helped put the Tar Heels back on the right foot defensively just six days after giving up a season-high 87 points against Indiana.

With conference play beginning soon, North Carolina will look to keep the defensive intensity they showed on Wednesday and attempt to fix the offensive struggles.

“The great thing about being home is that there’s a lot of people that care about watching this team play,” Banghart said. “There’s a lot of excitement about this program.”  


@dthsports |

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