GREENSBORO, N.C. – Despite a career-high 23 points from Kendra Smith and a 13-1 second-half run to get within three points, UNC Greensboro fell to Georgia Southern on Monday, 63-55.
Smith went 8-for-10 from the floor and 4-for-5 from 3-point range, scoring 18 of her points in the second half. Freshman Brey Dorsett, making her first career start, matched her career high with 11 points for UNCG (7-13, 4-8 Southern Conference). Carolyn Whitney scored 17 points to lead GSU (11-9, 6-5 SoCon), which also got 10 from Jessica Geiger. Krista Tate pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds to pace the Lady Eagles.
The Spartans trailed 49-34 with 12 minutes to play, but finally got their offense going to turn a blowout into a tight game. Dorsett got the run started with one of her three 3-pointers on the night, and Smith added a jumper after a Meredyth Frye free throw.
Agne Girstautaite hit the back end of a two-shot foul to get UNCG back within 10 points for the first time in the second half, and Smith hit a 3-pointer and a jumper on consecutive UNCG possessions to cut it to five at 50-45.
After a GSU turnover, Dorsett hit a jumper to make it 50-47 with 7:16 to play, and the Spartans were as close as they had been since trailing 18-14 with just under eight minutes to play in the first half.
The Lady Eagles finally stopped the bleeding, getting a pair of J'Lisia Ogburn free throws to stop the run. Whitney then pushed GSU's lead back to nine with back-to-back layups, making the score 56-47 with 3:47 to go.
Another Smith 3 got UNCG back within six, but the Spartans would get no closer in dropping their fourth straight game.
UNCG controlled the game early, jumping out to a 13-7 lead in the first 10 minutes. The Lady Eagles struggled to find their offense in the early going, opening 0-for-8 from the floor before Whitney finally got a 3 to drop with more than six minutes elapsed.
That seemed to be the wake-up call for Georgia Southern, which turned in a 22-3 run to turn a six-point deficit into a 13-point lead at 29-16 with five minutes to go in the opening frame. Whitney had three more 3-pointers in the run, while Frye had a 3 and a three-point play.
The Lady Eagles would continue to sizzle on offense, eventually stretching their lead to 16 at the break, 37-21.
UNCG lost its first game this season when winning the rebounding battle. The Spartans held a 37-35 edge on the glass, but saw GSU grab three more offensive boards (13-10). Lakiah Hyson matched her season high with eight rebounds to pace UNCG.
The Lady Eagles went to the free throw line three times as often as the Spartans, but failed to capitalize, going just 13-for-24. UNCG was 5-for-8 from the line.
Georgia Southern dominated the paint, scoring 20 points there to UNCG's six. The Lady Eagles also held a massive edge in points off turnovers, turning 19 Spartan miscues into 27 points. UNCG scored just 12 points off 13 GSU turnovers.
The Spartans return to action Saturday at Samford. Opening tip is set for 5 p.m. Eastern time.
NOTES: Girstautaite blocked two shots, moving her into a tie for second in school history with former teammate Meghan Chamberlain (2004-08) with 91. Girstautaite now trails only Rebecca Viverette, who had 121 from 1994-98. … Amanda Leigh hit a pair of 3-pointers, moving her into sole possession of seventh in school history with 89 for her career. With 44 on the season, Leigh also moved into sole possession of ninth place on UNCG's single-season list. … Smith's four 3-pointers were a career high. She had hit two on four separate occasions. Her eight field goals were also a career high, surpassing the six she converted at Georgia Southern on Dec. 29. She scored a game-high 12 in that meeting, a 45-42 UNCG win, and is averaging 17.5 points per game against the Lady Eagles this season.
GEORGIA SOUTHERN 63, UNC GREENSBORO 55
GEORGIA SOUTHERN (11-9, 6-5 SoCon)
Carolyn Whitney 6-14 1-5 17; Jessica Geiger 3-7 2-2 10; J'Lisia Ogburn 3-5 3-3 9; Meredyth Frye 2-3 2-3 7; Jamie Navarro 1-7 3-5 6; Samantha Williams 2-7 1-2 5; Krista Tate 1-4 1-2 3; Briana Scott 1-2 0-0 2; Logan Youngblood 1-1 0-0 2; Ro-Ro Smith 1-1 0-0 2; Janay Wilson 0-3 0-2 0. Totals 21-54 13-24 63.
UNC GREENSBORO (7-13, 4-8 SoCon)
Kendra Smith 8-10 3-4 23; Brey Dorsett 4-8 0-0 11; Amanda Leigh 2-8 0-0 6; Lakiah Hyson 2-11 1-2 6; Monique Floyd 3-5 0-0 6; Sarah Folwell 1-6 0-0 2; Agne Girstautaite 0-0 1-2 1; Amy Clapper 0-1 0-0 0; Dee Corbett 0-1 0-0 0; Sidnei Harmon 0-1 0-0 0; TaShama Banner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-51 5-8 55.
Georgia Southern 37 26 63
UNC Greensboro 21 34 55
3-point goals--Georgia Southern 8-21 (Carolyn Whitney 4-9; Jessica Geiger 2-3; Meredyth Frye 1-2; Jamie Navarro 1-5; Samantha Williams 0-2), UNC Greensboro 10-26 (Kendra Smith 4-5; Brey Dorsett 3-4; Amanda Leigh 2-6; Lakiah Hyson 1-7; Sarah Folwell 0-4). Fouled out--Georgia Southern-None, UNC Greensboro-None. Rebounds--Georgia Southern 35 (Krista Tate 10), UNC Greensboro 37 (Lakiah Hyson 8). Assists--Georgia Southern 13 (Carolyn Whitney 3; Jessica Geiger 3), UNC Greensboro 15 (Lakiah Hyson 4). Total fouls--Georgia Southern 9, UNC Greensboro 20. Technical fouls—Georgia Southern-None, UNC Greensboro-None. A-264
- UNCG -