BIMINI, Bahamas – Pre-game preparation may look a little different, but the UNC women’s basketball team still have the same goal for Friday’s game with VCU in the Goombay Splash.
The Tar Heels (4-0) and the Rams (2-1) face off at 1 p.m. in Bimini, at the Gateway Christian Academy, a short tram ride from the resort where the team is staying. VCU and Washington meet Thursday afternoon, and Carolina and Washington meet in the final round robin game on Saturday.
The games will be broadcast live on FloHoops. Tar Heel fans can also watch the radio shows here.
Back to Bimini
The Tar Heels play Bimini for the second time in program history. They also visited the island during the 2016-17 season as part of this year’s Junkanoo Jam event. UNC fell in South Florida in Game 1, then beat Minnesota to leave the Island 1-1. However, the experience is brand new for the current Tar Heels: no member of the current travel team was on the previous trip.
UNC vs. VCU
The Tar Heels and Rams meet for the third time overall and the first time since the 2018-19 season. The latter two met on November 14, 2018 at Chapel Hill, where UNC won 59-47. Like Friday’s game, this one was also an early signal: it was Tar Heels Education Day and started at 11 a.m. with around 700 local fifth-graders in the stands in as part of school excursions. The Tar Heels held the Rams scoreless for more than 10 minutes and went on a 20-0 streak in the third to fourth quarter to seal the victory.
The current fifth year senior Jaelynn Murray played 20 minutes off the bench (2 points, 5 rebounds) and is the only member of the squad, including current coaches and support staff, to have participated in this game.
â¢ UNC limited their four opponents to a single-digit score in the first quarter: NC A&T 8, Charlotte 3, App. State 4 and TCU 8
â¢ The season’s highest opposing shots percentage was 36.0 (18-50), by North Carolina A&T in the season opener.
â¢ UNC ranks second nationally in defensive goal percentage (opponents shooting 27.3%), second in scoring margin (44.8 points), fourth in defense (opponents scoring 42.5 points per game) and 12th in offensive attack (87.2 points per game).
â¢ The Tar Heels are 10th in 3FG defense (17.7), 15th in forced turnovers (25 per game) and 17th in turnovers (9.25).
â¢ UNC have forced 24 or more turnovers in each of the first three games this season (NC A&T, Charlotte, Appalachian State). The Tar Heels only forced it twice (SC State, Clemson) throughout 2020-21.
â¢ The 11 players who scored in the Charlotte win scored the most Tar Heels to score in a game during the Banghart era. UNC accomplished the same feat in the next game against Appalachian State.
â¢ On their Tar Heel debut against NC A&T on November 9, transfers Eva hodgson and Carlie Littlefield combined for 28 points on 11-for-12 (5-for-6-of-three) shots to go with three rebounds, seven assists and six steals.
â¢ The Tar Heels haven’t dragged their feet this season, scoring the first and maintaining the lead in all four games.
â¢ UNC have beaten their opponents in 15 of 16 quarters this season. The exception was the second quarter at TCU, when the Horned Frogs led 14-12 while the Tar Heels shot 25.0 from the field.
â¢ Two freshmen hit double digits for the first time as Tar Heels against Appalachian State. Destiny Adams scored his 10 points in the fourth quarter, and Morasha Wiggins had seven of his 10 after halftime.
â¢ The five players who started the first four games are averaging 9.8 points or more. Deja Kelly leads the way at 17.2 points per game, after a career-high 25 at TCU. Alyssa Ustby is at 14.3, Carlie Littlefield 11.0, Kennedy Todd-Williams 10.0 and Anya poole 9.8.
â¢ Eight different players have scored in double digits at least once this season.
â¢ The Tar Heels have a 70-19 second chance points advantage this season. They have limited all of their opponents to single digits in this category and have hit 11 or more in every game with a high of 21 in Charlotte.
â¢ In the last two games, UNC has overtaken its opponents 114-66. The Tar Heels held a 60-38 advantage over Appalachian State at home on November 17, then passed the TCU – who entered the game as the NCAA leader in rebounds with 54 per game – by a margin of 54-28 in Fort Worth. TCU also led the country in defensive rebounds with 36 per game and got 23 against UNC.
â¢ The Tar Heels have scored 78 percent of free throws (32-41) in both road games this season, compared to 0.556 (25-45) at home. Over the season, they shot .663 (57-86).