Womens basketball team downs Wake Forest for first time since 1977
WINSTON-SALEM, NC – UNC Greensboro overcame a miserable shooting night only to see the Spartans grab a 70-64 victory over in-state rival Wake Forest Wednesday night in non-conference women’s basketball action at Lawrence Joel Coliseum.
Despite a cold shooting performance that mirrored the near-freezing temperatures outside, UNCG (4-3) picked up its third straight victory of the season, with wins over the likes of Big East foe West Virginia and the ACC’s Demon Deacons. The win squares the all-time head-to-head record at 6-6, but it was the first win for UNCG over Wake since the 1977-78 season.
Sophomore guard Kristen Boone made her first start of the season and scored a UNCG-high 16 points and had four steals. Junior forward Irene Otamiri added 15 points, all in the second half, while junior KaLeah Latham scored 13 points.
Liz Strunk went for a game-high 23 points to lead Wake Forest (3-3). Cotelia Bond-Young, the ACC’s second-leading scorer had 17 points, while Deirdre Naughton added 12 points for the Demon Deacons.
UNCG opened the second half by scoring nine of the first 11 points to take its largest lead to that point, 41-31, with 15:51 to go. The Spartans were able to hold their lead until Naughton buried a 3-pointer to give Wake Forest a 49-48 lead with 6:45 remaining, but the resilient Spartans converted four straight buckets to take a 56-49 lead with 4:44 to go.
Wake Forest never got any closer than five points, 56-51, at the 4:04 mark. UNCG was able to open its lead to as many as 12 points, 70-58, on a layup by Otamiri in the closing seconds.
UNCG shot a season-low 33.3 percent (22-for-66) from the field. Wake was not much better as they converted at a 39.1 percent (25-for-64) clip. UNCG held a 48-44 advantage on the boards and came up with 11 steals.
Back-to-back buckets by senior center Caroline Blair gave UNCG a 9-7 lead into the first media timeout of the opening half. Strunk would then put Wake up 15-13 on a trey at the 10:25 mark, but UNCG ran off seven straight points to take a 20-15 lead at 9:11. Boone began the spurt with her first 3-pointer of the season and Jasmine Dixon capped it with a pair from the free throw line.
Wake put together a 7-0 run of its own to grab a brief 22-20 advantage, but UNCG answered back with a 10-2 spurt, which included consecutive treys by Byrd and Latham, to take its largest lead of the half, 30-24, with 2:52 left. Five points in a row by the Demon Deacons got the home team to within one, 30-29, but Dixon drained two free throws to send the Spartans into halftime with a 32-29 advantage.
Strunk single handedly paced Wake in the first half with 13 points and eight rebounds as she was the only Demon Deacon to score more than four points or grab more than three rebounds. UNCG was a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe in the opening 20 minutes of play and was led by Latham and Byrd’s nine and eight points respectively.
UNCG opens Southern Conference play on Monday when Davidson visits Fleming Gym for a 2 pm encounter. Meanwhile, Wake Forest hosts Coppin State on Saturday at Joel Coliseum.
GAME NOTES: Kristen Boone made just her third career start...UNCG has won six straight games in the month of December... UNCG is 4-0 and when it leads at the half... Wake Forest is the second ACC opponent the Spartans have played this season... UNCG opened the season with a 76-46 setback at NC State on November 18... Jasmine Byrd made two 3-pointer to tie for eighth all-time in program history with 78 career treys... The Spartans made a season-high five 3-pointers...The temperature at game time hovered around the 32 degree freezing mark.
UNC GREENSBORO 70, WAKE FOREST 64
UNC GREENSBORO (4-3)
BOONE, Kristen 4-10 7-10 16; OTAMIRI, Irene 6-13 2-2 15; LATHAM, KaLeah 5-10 2-2 13; BYRD, Jasmine 2-14 2-2 8; CHAMBERLAIN, Meghan 2-6 2-4 6; BLAIR, Caroline 3-6 0-0 6; DIXON, Jasmine 0-3 4-4 4; BROOKS, Kemena 0-3 2-2 2; GRIMSLEY, Gini 0-0 0-0 0; LING, Ashley 0-1 0-0 0; JACKSON, Shanika 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-66 21-26 70.
WAKE FOREST (3-3)
Strunk, Liz 8-15 2-2 23; Bond-Young, Cotelia 7-17 0-1 17; Naughton, Deirdre 5-12 0-0 12; Lavender, Yolanda 1-6 0-0 3; Tate, Tara 1-1 0-0 3; Washington, Melissa 1-2 0-0 2; Groves, Corinne 1-4 0-0 2; Tchangoue, Alex 1-3 0-0 2; Evans, Keila 0-2 0-2 0; Brown, Christen 0-0 0-2 0; Good, Tiara 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 25-64 2-7 64.
Halftime: UNCG, 32-29. 3-point goals-UNC Greensboro 5-17 (BYRD, Jasmine 2-11; BOONE, Kristen 1-2; LATHAM, KaLeah 1-1; OTAMIRI, Irene 1-2; BROOKS, Kemena 0-1), Wake Forest 12-28 (Strunk, Liz 5-9; Bond-Young, Cotelia 3-9; Naughton, Deirdre 2-5; Lavender, Yolanda 1-2; Tate, Tara 1-1; Good, Tiara 0-1; Tchangoue, Alex 0-1). Fouled out--UNC Greensboro-None, Wake Forest-None. Rebounds-UNC Greensboro 48 (LATHAM, KaLeah 12), Wake Forest 44 (Strunk, Liz 10). Assists-UNC Greensboro 13 (BOONE, Kristen 4; BYRD, Jasmine 4), Wake Forest 14 (Bond-Young, Cotelia 6). Total fouls-UNC Greensboro 17, Wake Forest 22. A-1842.
- UNCG -