GREENSBORO, N.C. – Samford overcame a 17-point first-half deficit and got a go-ahead 3-pointer with just under 4 minutes left in the game to escape UNCG in the Spartans' final home game of the season, 59-52.
Freshman Janae' Stevenson matched her career highs with 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Spartans (13-14, 10-9 Southern Conference), marking the third time in the last four games she has had 15 boards. The double-double was her fourth of the season.
Senior Monique Floyd had 11 points and just missed a double-double of her own with nine rebounds.
Emily London finished with a game-high 17 points for the Bulldogs (22-7, 15-5 SoCon), while Ruth Ketcham had 13 and Savannah Hill 12.
UNCG jumped out to a 22-5 lead on the second-place Bulldogs, with all five starters getting in on the scoring in the run. Kendra Smith and Amanda Leigh had six points each in the spurt, both hitting a pair of 3s as the Spartans were off and running early.
The Bulldogs, who opened the game 2-for-15 from the floor, finally got on track with a Brittany Jack 3-pointer with 9:59 to go in the opening frame, snapping Samford's 4-minute, 32-second scoring drought. That seemed to take the lid off the basket for the Bulldogs, who hit six of their next seven shots in a 19-4 run to make it a 26-24 game at the half.
UNCG went the final 7:04 of the first half without a field goal as the Bulldogs crept back into the game.
A Stevenson three-point play and a Dayshaun Richbow layup pumped UNCG's lead back up to seven points to open the second half, but Samford again had an answer, with London scoring seven of Samford's next eight points to pull the Bulldogs within one at 33-32.
Hill hit a layup to give Samford its first lead since holding a 3-2 advantage but Floyd countered with one of her own to put UNCG back on top. Jack hit a 3 as the Bulldogs reclaimed the lead, and they would push it to five at 44-39 with just under 9 minutes to play.
Down but not out, the Spartans rattled off a 6-0 run in less than a minute, with Richbow getting a layup to go, Floyd getting a steal and a layup and Stevenson scoring off a Floyd feed to give UNCG the lead once again at 45-44.
That was when London took over, as the preseason SoCon Player of the Year nailed a 3 from the top of the key with 3:58 left to put the Bulldogs back on top for good. She hit another triple on Samford's next trip down the floor, and Samford was back in the driver's seat.
A pair of Leigh free throws brought UNCG back to within four at 53-48 with 1:27, but that was as close as the Spartans would get. Samford, which entered the game fifth nationally in free throw percentage, went 6-for-6 from the line in the last minute to put the game away.
UNCG outrebounded the Bulldogs 44-31 on the day, but shot just 26.2 percent from the floor for the game. One of the worst free throw shooting teams in the SoCon, UNCG connected on a season-high 86.7 percent of its attempts, going 13-for-15 from the free throw line.
The contest was the final one in Fleming Gymnasium for seniors Floyd, Leigh and Smith.
Leigh's two 3-pointers moved her into a tie for second place in school history for career 3s, as she now has 169 in her three seasons in a UNCG uniform.
UNCG wraps up the regular season on Saturday when it heads to Boone, N.C., for a game against regular-season SoCon champion Appalachian State at 5 p.m.. The Mountaineers bring an 18-game home winning streak into their Monday night contest.
SAMFORD 59, UNCG 52
SAMFORD (22-7, 15-5)
LONDON, Emily 4-8 6-6 17; KETCHAM, Ruth 3-5 6-6 13; HILL, Savannah 5-16 1-2 12; JACK, Brittany 3-4 0-0 8; ANDERSON, Paige 2-7 1-2 6; CAMPBELL, Shelby 1-4 1-2 3; ROBINSON, Christy 0-0 0-0 0; MARTIN, Jazmine 0-2 0-0 0; POWERS, Jazmine 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-46 15-18 59.
UNCG (13-14, 10-9)
Janae' Stevenson 5-8 4-5 14; Monique Floyd 3-10 5-6 11; Amanda Leigh 2-8 2-2 8; Dayshaun Richbow 2-10 2-2 6; Kendra Smith 2-8 0-0 6; Breonna Patterson 1-7 0-0 3; Brey Dorsett 1-3 0-0 2; Jazz Weaver 1-3 0-0 2; Sarah Folwell 0-3 0-0 0; Amy Clapper 0-2 0-0 0; Natalie Headley 0-2 0-0 0; Sidnei Harmon 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-65 13-15 52.
Samford....................... 24 35 - 59
UNCG.......................... 26 26 - 52
3-point goals--Samford 8-18 (LONDON, Emily 3-4; JACK, Brittany 2-3; ANDERSON, Paige 1-5; KETCHAM, Ruth 1-2; HILL, Savannah 1-2; CAMPBELL, Shelby 0-2), UNCG 5-15 (Kendra Smith 2-2; Amanda Leigh 2-5; Breonna Patterson 1-4; Brey Dorsett 0-1; Sarah Folwell 0-2; Dayshaun Richbow 0-1). Fouled out--Samford-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Samford 31 (HILL, Savannah 7; JACK, Brittany 7), UNCG 44 (Janae' Stevenson 15). Assists--Samford 10 (HILL, Savannah 6), UNCG 6 (Breonna Patterson 2; Sarah Folwell 2). Total fouls--Samford 13, UNCG 16. Technical fouls--Samford-None, UNCG-None. A-251
- UNCG -