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.
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
|16||Wednesday||93–25||South Carolina State||Home||3–0|
|20||Sunday||76–65||James Madison||Harrisonburg, Va.||4–0|
|Phil Knight Invitational|
|24||Thursday||85–79||No. 18 Oregon||Portland||5–0|
|27||Sunday||73–64||No. 5 Iowa State||Portland||6–0|
|December||ACC/Big Ten Challenge|
|1||Thursday||6 p.m.||No. 6 Indiana||Bloomington, Ind.||Big Ten Network|
|7||Wednesday||6 p.m.||UNCW||Home||ACCNX (ESPN3)|
|11||Sunday||1 p.m.||Wofford||Home||ACCNX (ESPN3)|
|16||Friday||6 p.m.||South Carolina – Upstate||Home||ACCNX (ESPN3)|
|20||Tuesday||7 p.m.||No. 22 Michigan||Charlotte||ESPN2|
|ACC season begins|
|29||Thursday||8 p.m.||Florida State||Home||RSN|
|1||Sunday||4 p.m.||No. 11 Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||ACCN|
|5||Thursday||6 p.m.||Miami||Coral Gables, Fla.||ACCNX (ESPN3)|
|8||Sunday||4 p.m.||No. 7 Notre Dame||Home||ACCN|
|12||Thursday||7 p.m.||Virginia||Charlottesville, Va.||ACCNX (ESPN3)|
|15||Sunday||3:30||No. 13 N.C. State||Home||ESPN|
|22||Sunday||4 p.m.||Georgia Tech||Home||ACCN|
|26||Thursday||6 p.m.||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||ACCNX (ESPN3)|
|5||Sunday||Noon||No. 10 Louisville||Louisville||ESPN2|
|9||Thursday||7 p.m.||Syracuse||Syracuse||ACCNX (ESPN3)|
|12||Sunday||Noon||Boston College||Home||ACCNX (ESPN3)|
|16||Thursday||8 p.m.||No. 13 N.C. State||Raleigh||ACCN|
|19||Sunday||4 p.m.||Wake Forest||Home||ACCN|
|23||Thursday||8 p.m.||No. 11 Virginia Tech||Home||RSN|
|1–5||Wednesday–Sunday||TBA||TBA||Greensboro||ACCN Wed.-Sat.; final on ESPN or ESPN2|
Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications