Western Carolina defeats UNCG 53-52, snaps 10-game homecourt win streak
GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro had a one-point lead with 1:58 left in the game but several quick turnovers, coupled by free throws by Western Carolina’s Brooke Johnson gave Western Carolina a 53-52, win over UNC Greensboro on Wednesday afternoon at Fleming Gymnasium.
Senior guard Jasmine Byrd led the Spartans (6-4, 0-2 SoCon) with 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting and was a perfect 2-of-2 from the charity stripe. Brittany Frazier pulled down nine rebounds. With the loss, the Spartans 10-game homecourt win streak, dating back to last season, was snapped.
Western Carolina (7-5, 2-0 SoCon) was led by Lauren Powell who had 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting and was 4-of-5 from the free throw line. Chevon Keith had a game-high 10 rebounds and was the next leading scorer for the Catamounts with nine points.
“This was a tale of two halves,” head coach Lynne Agee said. “In the first half we we’re glued to the floor and we weren’t showing any effort. I was really disappointed that we couldn’t get more effort in the first half.”
Western Carolina’s 35-20 lead at the 16:27 mark capped the Catamounts' largest lead of the game at 15 points. The Spartans scored nine unanswered points sparked by back-to-back three pointers by Byrd to cut the lead to six. The teams traded buckets but the Spartans couldn’t get the score under six points until the 3:10 mark of the second half when Irene Otamiri hit a runner in the lane and got fouled.
KaLeah Latham came up with a big steal after Otamiri’s free throws to cut the lead to one with 2:56 left in the game. Western Carolina pushed the lead back to three with a layup by Keith but a steal by Latham gave the Spartans a one-point lead with 1:58 left in the game, the Spartans first lead of the afternoon. The Spartans had one last chance, but a desperation pass was intercepted and time expired.
UNCG shot 35.6 percent from the floor on 21-of 59 shooting and shot 29.4 percent from behind the arc. The Spartans also had 33 rebounds.
Western Carolina started the game on a 15-5 run in the first 10 minutes of the half but the Spartans battled back to cut the lead to five points at the 8:07 mark with a jumper by Brittany Frazier and a three-pointer by Kemena Brooks.
Western countered with another run pushing the lead to 11 at the 3:34 mark but UNCG scored four unanswered points to get the lead down to single digits but fouls by Frazier and Boone in the final 30 seconds of the half gave Western the 28-16 halftime lead.
The Spartans shot 22.2 percent on 6-of-27 shooting from the floor in the first half, their lowest first-half shooting percentage since shooting 20.0 percent in a 103-48 loss at No. 2 North Carolina on Nov. 30.
UNCG will next be in action at the Maryland Tournament, when they will take on the No. 1-ranked Maryland Terrapins Dec. 29 at 7 pm in College Park, MD.
WESTERN CAROLINA 53, UNCG 52
WESTERN CAROLINA (7-5, 2-0)
POWELL, Lauren 3-12 4-5 10; KEITH, Chevon 4-9 1-2 9; JOHNSON, Brooke 1-4 6-6 8; EATON, Kendra 3-8 1-2 7; LAMITIE, Lynsie 3-7 0-0 6; PELLOM, Ashley 2-8 0-0 4; DAWSON, Monique 2-6 0-0 4; SWAYNE, Heather 1-2 0-0 3; JOHNSON,Jessika 0-2 2-2 2; FEEMSTER, Kristen 0-0 0-0 0; MAY, Erin 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 19-61 14-17 53.
UNCG (6-5, 0-2)
Byrd, Jasmine 6-14 2-2 16; Latham, Kaleah 4-8 1-2 9; Brooks, Kemena 3-6 0-08; Otamiri, Irene 3-8 1-1 8; Dixon, Jasmine 2-3 0-0 4; Boone, Kristen 1-9 1-4 3; Frazier, Brittany 1-6 0-0 2; Ling, Ashley 1-1 0-0 2; Chamberlain,Meghan 0-3 0-0 0; Grimsley, Gini 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-59 5-9 52.
Halftime: Western Carolina 28-16. 3-point goals--Western Carolina 1-15 (SWAYNE, Heather 1-1; JOHNSON, Brooke 0-2; LAMITIE, Lynsie 0-1; PELLOM, Ashley 0-1; DAWSON, Monique 0-3; MAY, Erin 0-1; POWELL, Lauren 0-6), UNCG 5-17 (Byrd, Jasmine 2-7; Brooks, Kemena 2-4; Otamiri, Irene 1-4; Boone, Kristen 0-1; Grimsley, Gini 0-1). Fouled out--Western Carolina-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Western Carolina 50 (KEITH, Chevon 10), UNCG 33 (Frazier, Brittany 9). Assists--Western Carolina 8 (PELLOM, Ashley 4), UNCG 13 (Boone, Kristen 5). Total fouls--Western Carolina 14, UNCG 14. Technical fouls--Western Carolina-None, UNCG-None. A-219
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