GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNC Greensboro staged an 11-2 rally in the last 1:32 to set up a thrilling finish, but Lakiah Hyson's last-second 3-point attempt rimmed out as College of Charleston survived with a 54-51 win at Fleming Gymnasium on Saturday.
With the Spartans (7-12, 4-7 Southern Conference) trailing by three and inbounding the ball with just one second left on the clock, Monique Floyd found Hyson alone in front of UNCG's bench for the potential game-tying 3. Hyson got the shot off in time, but the ball kissed off the glass, rolled around the rim and spun out as time expired to give the Cougars (13-6, 8-3 SoCon) the win.
UNCG trailed 52-40 with 1:46 to play, but a Sarah Folwell 3-pointer got UNCG's big run started. After a UNCG timeout and a stop on the other end, Hyson converted a fastbreak layup that cut the deficit to seven points.
Forced to foul to stop the clock, the Spartans put College of Charleston's Jade Hughes on the line for a pair of free throws, and Hughes made the strategy pay off by missing the back half. Kendra Smith hit a 3 on UNCG's next possession to get it to five points, and after a College of Charleston turnover, Hyson hit a 3 of her own to make it a two-point game at 53-51 with 29.6 seconds left.
Tonia Gerty was fouled in the backcourt – this time not on purpose – as UNCG continued to press, and Gerty missed the front end of her two-shot foul to give UNCG life.
The Spartans had 27.2 seconds left, and Amanda Leigh and Hyson both got off 3-point tries that fell short. UNCG ended up with the ball out of bounds after a scramble for the rebound, giving Hyson and the Spartans one last chance at the tie with just one tick of the clock left. Hyson's eighth 3-point try of the day went begging as UNCG lost its third game this season when it had the ball and the chance to win or tie on the game's last possession.
Hyson finished with a game-high 23 points, giving her 20-plus in two of her last three home games after her 29-point effort against Elon on Jan. 13.
Smith and Folwell finished with 10 points each for UNCG. Deidra Jones had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the game's lone double-double, while Hughes and Gerty had 10 each as the Cougars also put three players in double figures.
UNCG's rally was all the more impressive given that it shot just 27.8 percent for the game (15-for-54) and was outrebounded by College of Charleston, 47-29.
The Spartans compensated for those numbers with good defense and solid ball control, forcing 19 Cougar turnovers while committing just a season-low eight of their own.
College of Charleston shot 21 second-half free throws, and was 17-for-26 from the line for the game. Jones had half of those attempts, including the Cougars' first 11.
The Cougars led just 24-22 at halftime, but steadily built its lead in the second half, keeping it in the eight- to 10-point range for the majority of the second frame.
College of Charleston completed the season sweep of the Spartans. The Cougars won 71-60 in Charleston, S.C., on Dec. 5.
UNCG returns to action at 7 p.m. Monday, when it hosts Georgia Southern. The Spartans will be looking for the season sweep after taking the first game from the Lady Eagles in Statesboro, Ga., 45-42, on Dec. 29.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON 54, UNC GREENSBORO 51
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (13-6, 8-3 SoCon)
Deidra Jones 2-8 9-13 13; Tonia Gerty 3-6 2-4 10; Jade Hughes 3-11 3-4 10; Brooke Kotcella 3-6 0-1 7; Ericka Williams 2-7 1-2 6; Latisha Harris 2-4 0-0 4; Indya Mudd 1-2 2-2 4; NeShonda McLaurin 0-0 0-0 0; Ariel Hatcher 0-1 0-0 0; Megan Fischer 0-0 0-0 0; Megan King 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-46 17-26 54.
UNC GREENSBORO (7-12, 4-7 SoCon)
Lakiah Hyson 8-19 4-4 23; Sarah Folwell 3-5 1-3 10; Kendra Smith 3-7 2-2 10; Monique Floyd 1-6 4-4 6; Brey Dorsett 0-2 1-2 1; Agne Girstautaite 0-1 1-2 1; Amy Clapper 0-1 0-0 0; Dayshaun Richbow 0-2 0-0 0; Amanda Leigh 0-9 0-0 0; TaShama Banner 0-1 0-0 0; Agneta Morkunaite 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-54 13-17 51.
College of Charleston 24 30 54
UNC Greensboro 22 29 51
3-point goals--College of Charleston 5-15 (Tonia Gerty 2-3; Ericka Williams 1-2; Jade Hughes 1-6; Brooke Kotcella 1-3; Megan King 0-1), UNC Greensboro 8-24 (Sarah Folwell 3-4; Lakiah Hyson 3-8; Kendra Smith 2-3; Amanda Leigh 0-6; Agneta Morkunaite 0-1; Brey Dorsett 0-2). Fouled out--College of Charleston-None, UNC Greensboro-Sarah Folwell. Rebounds--College of Charleston 47 (Deidra Jones 11), UNC Greensboro 29 (Lakiah Hyson 4). Assists--College of Charleston 9 (Tonia Gerty 4; Jade Hughes 4), UNC Greensboro 9 (Monique Floyd 3). Total fouls--College of Charleston 16, UNC Greensboro 21. Technical fouls--College of Charleston-None, UNC Greensboro-None. A-222
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