UNC women reportedly will host preseason scrimmage against reigning NCAA champ South Carolina

By R.L. Bynum

North Carolina’s women’s basketball team will reportedly play a scrimmage closed to the public on Saturday, Oct. 22, at Carmichael Arena against reigning national champion South Carolina.

This is according to a report in The State newspaper of Columbia, S.C. A UNC spokesperson said that the school won’t announce or confirm any details about preseason scrimmages before or after they happen since they are intended to be closed team activities.

The State obtained the contract through an open-records request. No time for the scrimmage is mentioned in the contract, which the newspaper reported was signed in May.

Inside Carolina reported that the UNC men’s team will face Rutgers in a closed scrimmage the same day. The football team has an open date that weekend.

The Tar Heels and the Gamecocks played in a closed preseason scrimmage at South Carolina last October. UNC’s Teonni Key tore the ACL in her right knee in that scrimmage and had to sit out all of last season.

Sometimes with these scrimmages, both sides agree not to reveal the results. That was the case last season, although UNC coach Courtney Banghart said it went well other than Key’s injury.

The teams also met in the Sweet 16. South Carolina’s 69–61 victory in Greensboro was the Gamecocks’ closest NCAA tournament game on their way to winning the NCAA title.

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The Gamecocks return forward Aliyah Boston (shown in the top picture defending UNC guard Deja Kelly), the reigning national player of the year, who averaged 16.8 points and 12.5 rebounds last season.

South Carolina lost point guard Destanni Henderson to the WNBA and two players in the transfer portal — guards Eniya Russell (to Kentucky) and Saniya Rivers (to N.C. State) — but lured fifth-year guard Kierra Fletcher from Georgia Tech.

In addition to winning the 2022 national champion, South Carolina also won the title in 2017. Former Virginia star Dawn Staley has been the Gamecocks’ head coach since 2009, with a record of 366–105 and four Final Four appearances.

South Carolina also beat UNC 67–65 in the Sweet 16 in Greensboro in 2015. North Carolina swept two games in the 2013–14 season, with the Tar Heels winning 74–66 on Dec. 19, 2013, in Chapel Hill and 65–58 on March 30, 2014, in a Sweet 16 in Palo Alto, Calif.

The Tar Heels, who will participate in Live Action with Carolina Basketball at 7:30 Friday night, open the season at home on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. against Jackson State.

UNC women’s schedule

DateMonth/dayTime/scoreOpponent/event
(current ranking)
LocationTV/record
November
9Wednesday91–59Jackson StateHome1–0
12Saturday75–48TCUHome2–0
16Wednesday93–25South Carolina StateHome3–0
20Sunday76–65James MadisonHarrisonburg, Va.4–0
Phil Knight Invitational
24Thursday85–79No. 18 OregonPortland5–0
27Sunday73–64No. 5 Iowa State Portland6–0
DecemberACC/Big Ten Challenge
1Thursday6 p.m.No. 6 IndianaBloomington, Ind.Big Ten Network
7Wednesday6 p.m.UNCWHomeACCNX (ESPN3)
11Sunday1 p.m.WoffordHomeACCNX (ESPN3)
16Friday6 p.m.South Carolina – UpstateHomeACCNX (ESPN3)
Jumpman Invitational
20Tuesday7 p.m.No. 22 MichiganCharlotteESPN2
ACC season begins
29Thursday8 p.m.Florida StateHomeRSN
January
1Sunday4 p.m.No. 11 Virginia TechBlacksburg, Va.ACCN
5Thursday6 p.m.MiamiCoral Gables, Fla.ACCNX (ESPN3)
8Sunday4 p.m.No. 7 Notre DameHomeACCN
12Thursday7 p.m.VirginiaCharlottesville, Va.ACCNX (ESPN3)
15Sunday3:30No. 13 N.C. StateHomeESPN
19Thursday8 p.m.DukeHomeACCN
22Sunday4 p.m.Georgia TechHomeACCN
26Thursday6 p.m.PittsburghPittsburghACCNX (ESPN3)
29Sunday4 p.m.ClemsonClemsonACCN
February
2Thursday6 p.m.VirginiaHomeRSN
5SundayNoonNo. 10 LouisvilleLouisvilleESPN2
9Thursday7 p.m.SyracuseSyracuseACCNX (ESPN3)
12SundayNoonBoston CollegeHomeACCNX (ESPN3)
16Thursday8 p.m.No. 13 N.C. StateRaleighACCN
19Sunday4 p.m.Wake ForestHomeACCN
23Thursday8 p.m.No. 11 Virginia TechHomeRSN
26SundayNoonDukeDurhamRSN
March
ACC Tournament
1–5Wednesday–SundayTBATBAGreensboroACCN Wed.-Sat.; final on ESPN or ESPN2
You can buy tickets to home games here. ACCN means the game air on ACC Network. ACCNX means that the game is only streaming on ACC Network Extra (ESPN3.) RSN means the game airs on regional sports networks (in many cases, Bally Sports but also MASN, NESN and Yes Network.)

Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications

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