DAVIDSON, N.C. – Amanda Leigh scored a game-high 18 points and the Spartans forced a critical turnover with less than 2 seconds left as UNCG won its fourth straight game, 59-58 over Davidson on Friday, to remain atop the Southern Conference standings.
Leigh, a native of nearby Charlotte, N.C., did not disappoint her several fans in attendance, hitting four 3-pointers as the Spartans moved to 6-5 overall and 3-0 in the SoCon.
Freshman Janae' Stevenson narrowly missed her second career double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Monique Floyd had a solid overall game, finishing with 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and no turnovers for UNCG.
Davidson was led by Laura Murray's 14 points, while Kristen Johnsen added 12 and Sophia Aleksandravicius had 10 points and nine rebounds.
The contest – which featured 10 ties and 16 lead changes – was a tight one throughout and came down to an intense, wild finish. After the Wildcats (4-6, 0-2 SoCon) erased UNCG's seven-point second-half lead with a 10-2 run, the teams found themselves tied at 56 on a Floyd layup with 2:18 to play.
Davidson missed a shot on the other end and Stevenson was fouled on the rebound, sending her to the line for a one-and-one. The rookie out of Columbia, S.C., hit the first before a lane violation was called on the second attempt.
On the Wildcats' next trip down the floor, UNCG – which had a season-low nine turnovers – got the stop it needed, with Stevenson blocking a shot and getting fouled again. This time, she hit both ends of the one-and-one to put UNCG up 59-56 with 1:16 left.
Aleksandravicius dropped in a quick layup on the other end to pull Davidson to within one, and the Spartans turned the ball over on a shot clock violation with 10.2 seconds to play.
UNCG called a timeout to set up its defense and the moved paid off, as Davidson's Ashley Lax traveled with 1.4 seconds left to give the ball back to the Spartans. Leigh was fouled on the inbounds play and went to the line for a pair of free throws, missing the first before intentionally missing the second to run out the clock.
The first half was just as intense, as neither team lead by more than four points. The teams were tied seven times and the lead changed hands 10 times in the opening stanza, which ended with the Spartans holding a 31-29 lead.
Leigh, Floyd and Stevenson had six points each in the first half, with Leigh scoring all of hers consecutively midway through the half.
Davidson matched its biggest lead of the contest at 25-21 with 5:10 to play in the half, but UNCG finished the frame on a 10-4 run to take the lead into the break.
"We played very hard," UNCG coach Lynne Agee said. "I'm not going to say we played very well, necessarily. We played hard and we did just the right things at the right time. We managed to keep ourselves in position to win the game and then we had some great plays by some people to finish it."
In addition to keeping the Spartans in first place in the SoCon, the win avenged a pair of big losses to the Wildcats last season. Davidson topped UNCG 67-45 in Davidson and 83-53 in Greensboro last season.
UNCG, in the midst of a brutal stretch of five games in 11 days, returns to action on Monday at Western Carolina in Cullowhee, N.C. That game is set for a 7 p.m. tip.
UNCG 59, DAVIDSON 58
UNCG (6-5, 3-0 SoCon)
Amanda Leigh 7-17 0-2 18; Janae' Stevenson 4-8 4-5 12; Monique Floyd 5-15 0-1 10; Kendra Smith 2-9 0-0 5; Sidnei Harmon 2-3 1-2 5; Dayshaun Richbow 2-7 0-0 4; Brey Dorsett 1-5 0-0 3; Jazz Weaver 1-1 0-0 2; Nneka Awuruonye 0-0 0-0 0; Sarah Folwell 0-0 0-0 0; Breonna Patterson 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 24-69 5-10 59.
DAVIDSON (4-6, 0-2 SoCon)
MURRAY, Laura 6-8 2-2 14; JOHNSEN, Kristen 5-7 2-2 12; ALEKSANDRAVICIUS, S. 5-15 0-0 10; CENTER, Shneeka 1-6 3-4 6; CHIEMEKA, Katrin 2-2 0-1 5; OTTAWAY, Amanda 1-4 3-4 5; SITTON, Barbara 2-3 0-0 4; LAX, Ashley 1-12 0-0 2; CALIN, Jasmine 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-59 10-13 58.
UNCG.......................... 31 28 - 59
Davidson...................... 29 29 - 58
3-point goals--UNCG 6-21 (Amanda Leigh 4-11; Brey Dorsett 1-2; Kendra Smith 1-4; Dayshaun Richbow 0-1; Breonna Patterson 0-2; Monique Floyd 0-1), Davidson 2-10 (CENTER, Shneeka 1-3; CHIEMEKA, Katrin 1-1; LAX, Ashley 0-5; MURRAY, Laura 0-1). Fouled out--UNCG-None, Davidson-None. Rebounds--UNCG 42 (Janae' Stevenson 9), Davidson 43 (ALEKSANDRAVICIUS, S. 9). Assists--UNCG 15 (Monique Floyd 5), Davidson 11 (SITTON, Barbara 5). Total fouls--UNCG 13, Davidson 13. Technical fouls--UNCG-None, Davidson-None. A-267
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