For video of UNCG coach Wendy Palmer's postgame comments, click here.
DURHAM, N.C. – Breonna Patterson paced four Spartans in double figures as UNCG coasted past North Carolina Central on Saturday, 70-53, to give coach Wendy Palmer her first career win.
"It's great to get the first win under your belt," said Palmer, UNCG's rookie head coach. "The kids came out, they were focused, they played really hard, knew the game plan and they executed."
Patterson, fresh off a career-high 23 points at Radford on Monday, picked up where she left off, notching 16 against the Lady Eagles (1-5). Janae' Stevenson had a career-high 15 points off the bench, while Sidnei Harmon and Jarae Savage had 10 each for UNCG (1-3).
Blaire Houston led NCCU with 16 points. Jasmine Alston had 13, while Chasidy Williams notched the game's only double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Patterson, making her first career start, scored seven of UNCG's first nine points and finished with 11 in the first half.
"She played well," Palmer said. "I'm asking a lot of Bre. Sometimes I play her at the 4, sometimes I play her at play point guard. She's stepping up to the challenge and she's playing pretty well. I want her to continue to grow as a player."
The teams were tied at 11 early in the contest, but the Spartans turned in a 16-5 run to open up some breathing room. Natalie Headley got the run going with consecutive baskets, followed by a jumper by Harmon and another Headley bucket to make it 19-11.
NCCU's Alston hit both ends of a 1-and-1 to snap the 8-0 Spartan spurt, but Jazz Weaver quickly got the points back with a jumper on the other end.
An Alston 3-pointer pulled the Lady Eagles back within five at 21-16 before baskets by Harmon, Patterson and Stevenson gave UNCG its biggest lead of the first half to that point.
Back-to-back baskets from Williams and Tenika Neely got the Lady Eagles back within seven before the Spartans rattled off a quick 6-0 run to make it 35-20 with less than a minute to go in the half. Houston's jumper from the elbow made it a 13-point spread at the break.
UNCG never let its lead dip below 11 points in the second half. After a Savage layup to open the scoring in the second frame, NCCU scored consecutive baskets to pull within 37-26. That was as close as the Lady Eagles would get the rest of the way.
The Spartans slowed pulled away from there, stretching their lead to a game-high 24 at 59-35 on a Nneka Awuruonye basket with 10 minutes left.
NCCU ended the contest on a 7-2 run to get the final margin under 20.
The Spartans shot a season-best 54.1 percent from the floor, making 31 of their 61 attempts. UNCG was 16-for-27 (59.3 percent) in the second half.
Patterson had a career-high seven assists to go with her 16 points, while Harmon stuffed the stat sheet with five rebounds and a career-high five steals.
Stevenson, who pulled down six rebounds, also blocked three shots, moving into a tie for 12th place in school history in that category with 42 in just 32 career games.
UNCG just missed putting five players in double figures for the first time in three years, as Headley finished with nine points.
The Spartans had 20 assists and 18 steals, both season highs. UNCG forced 29 NCCU turnovers on the day.
The win wrapped up UNCG's three-game road swing. The Spartans return home Thursday, Dec. 1, when they host preseason Southern Conference favorite Chattanooga to open league play. That contest is set for a 7 p.m. start at Fleming Gymnasium.
UNCG 70, N.C. CENTRAL 53
Breonna Patterson 7-14 0-0 16; Janae' Stevenson 7-10 1-1 15; Jarae Savage 5-6 0-0 10; Sidnei Harmon 5-6 0-0 10; Natalie Headley 4-7 1-2 9; Jazz Weaver 2-6 0-0 4; Nneka Awuruonye 2-2 0-0 4; Dayshaun Richbow 1-4 0-0 2; Amy Clapper 0-3 0-0 0; April Carson 0-2 0-0 0; Sarah Folwell 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 33-61 2-3 70.
N.C. CENTRAL (1-5)
Blaire Houston 8-11 0-4 16; Jasmine Alston 4-7 2-2 13; Chasidy Williams 5-9 1-2 11; Tenika Neely 3-7 0-0 6; Tiffany Gary 2-6 0-0 4; Alesha Jenkins 0-3 2-2 2; Kabrina Truesdale 0-4 1-2 1; Tarlesha Boles 0-1 0-0 0; Montreshia Perry 0-0 0-0 0; Eyandra Molina 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-49 6-12 53.
UNCG 35 35 70
N.C. Central 22 31 53
3-point goals--UNCG 2-9 (Breonna Patterson 2-6; Natalie Headley 0-1; Dayshaun Richbow 0-1; April Carson 0-1), N.C. Central 3-5 (Jasmine Alston 3-4; Kabrina Truesdale 0-1). Fouled out--UNCG-None, N.C. Central-None. Rebounds--UNCG 27 (Janae' Stevenson 6), N.C. Central 32 (Chasidy Williams 10). Assists--UNCG 20 (Breonna Patterson 7), N.C. Central 6 (Chasidy Williams 3). Total fouls--UNCG 14, N.C. Central 10. Technical fouls--UNCG-None, N.C. Central-None. A-125
- UNCG -