UNCG falls to Georgia Southern, 81-64, in SoCon quarterfinals
CHARLESTON, SC – UNC Greensboro had two players in doubles figures, led junior guard Kristen Boone's17 points, but they couldn’t overcome the Georgia Southern offense and lost, 81-64, in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament at the North Charleston Coliseum.
“Georgia Southern was the better team this morning,” head coach Lynne Agee said. “We were really hurting without our center Meghan Chamberlain (knee injury) and we just couldn’t keep up with them on the inside. We went up strong for rebounds but we just couldn’t pull anything down.”
UNCG (20-10) shot 33.3 percent on 23-of-69 shooting and pulled down 33 rebounds. The Spartans went 15-of-16 from the charity stripe and picked up 13 steals and had three blocks. Brittany Frazier and KaLeah Latham each had nine rebounds in the loss.
Georgia Southern (13-17) was led by Tiffany Brown who scored a game high 20 points. Chequilla Jessie, Carolyn Whitney and Ashley Rivens also scored in doubles figures for the Eagles.
The Eagles opened the second half by going 4-for-4 from beyond the three-point line and the Spartans couldn’t take advantage of their full-court pressure. With Georgia Southern leading by 12, UNCG used a 7-0 run, sparked by buckets from Boone and Otamiri, and several Georgia Southern miscues to pull within eight at 51-43 with just under 12 minutes to go. The Eagles countered with five straight of their own to take a 13-point, 56-43 lead, with 10 minutes to play.
Led by Jessie, Georgia Southern extended its lead to as many as 18 at 72-54 with 4:30 to go in the game. UNCG tried to find their offense but couldn’t convert anything down the stretch as Georgia Southern held on for the win.
The Spartans started the game slowly which allowed Georgia Southern to go on a 9-2 run through the games first four minutes. Tiffany Brown connected on two three-pointers while Chequilla Jessie hit two free throw shots to give the Eagles the early advantage.
UNCG slowly climbed out of the hole with a bucket in the paint by Kristen Boone followed by a triple from Irene Otamiri to cut the Georgia Southern lead to 13-11. Buckets by Jasmine Byrd and Georgia Southern tied the game but an 11-5 run put UNCG ahead 26-17 at the 7:30 mark.
Just as quickly as UNCG jumped out to a nine point lead the Eagles responded with six unanswered buckets to take a 28-26 lead at the 3:43 mark of the half. The Eagles continued to have the offensive hot hand and closed the half on a 9-4 run to take a 37-30 led into the lockeroom.
This meeting marked the third consecutive time the Spartans and Eagles have tangled in the quarterfinals. UNCG defeated Georgia Southern 68-56 last year but the Eagles eliminated UNCG in 2005 by a score of 55-48.
The Spartans conclude the season with a 20-10 record, their first 20-win season since the 2001-02 season. An at-large slot in the WNIT is possible, but not likely with the tournament's new automatic qualifier format.
GEORGIA SOUTHERN 81, UNC GREENSBORO 64
GEORGIA SOUTHERN (13-17)
BROWN,Tiffany 5-11 6-6 20; JESSIE,Chequilla 5-9 2-3 12; RIVERS,Ashley 2-6 4-4 10; WHITNEY,Carolyn 2-8 4-5 10; ATWOOD,Shawnda 3-8 1-2 8; MELSON,Ashley 3-6 0-0 6; WATERMAN,Christa 3-4 0-0 6; GEIGER,Jessica 2-3 0-0 4;
OGBUN,J'Lisia 2-3 0-0 4; HENRY,Concella 0-1 1-2 1; HILBERT,Sina 0-0 0-0 0; YOUNGBLOOD,Taylor 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-60 18-22 81.
UNC GREENSBORO (20-10)
BOONE,Kristen 6-18 4-5 17; OTAMIRI,Irene 4-10 4-4 13; BYRD,Jasmine 4-17 1-1 9; GRIMSLEY,Gini 4-6 0-0 9; LATHAM,Kaleah 2-7 4-4 8; FRAZIER,Brittany 2-7 2-2 6; DIXON,Jasmine 1-2 0-0 2; LING,Ashley 0-1 0-0 0; BROOKS,Kemena 0-1 0-0
0. Totals 23-69 15-16 64.
Halftime: GSU 37-30. 3-point goals--Georgia Southern 9-18 (BROWN,Tiffany 4-6; WHITNEY,Carolyn 2-4; RIVERS,Ashley 2-3; ATWOOD,Shawnda 1-4; MELSON,Ashley 0-1), UNCGreensboro 3-13 (GRIMSLEY,Gini 1-3; OTAMIRI,Irene 1-1; BOONE,Kristen 1-3; BROOKS,Kemena 0-1; BYRD,Jasmine 0-5). Fouled out--Georgia Southern-None, UNC Greensboro-None. Rebounds--Georgia Southern 49 (JESSIE,Chequilla 10), UNC Greensboro 33 (FRAZIER,Brittany 9; LATHAM,Kaleah 9). Assists—Georgia Southern 16 (WHITNEY,Carolyn 7), UNC Greensboro 10 (OTAMIRI,Irene 3). Total fouls--Georgia Southern 18, UNC Greensboro 19. Technical fouls—Georgia Southern-None, UNC Greensboro-None.
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