For video of UNCG coach Wendy Palmer's postgame comments, click here.
CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Western Carolina opened the second-half on a 14-0 run and held UNCG to fewer than 40 points for the third straight game as the Catamounts topped the Spartans in Southern Conference women's basketball action Saturday, 62-29.
"The team took a very tough loss today," UNCG coach Wendy Palmer said. "Western Carolina played an amazing game. Everything was falling for them. Everything was clicking, everything they did, the shots went in, they hustled, they came up with loose balls, so all the credit goes to Western Carolina. They played an amazing game."
Natalie Headley scored a team-high 11 points for UNCG (2-11, 1-4 SoCon), which dropped its seventh straight.
Kaila'Shea Menendez paced hot-shooting Western Carolina (6-8, 1-4 SoCon) with 20 points, while Rena Wakama had 13. Makensey Campbell pulled down a game- and career-high 10 rebounds as the Catamounts won their second straight game after a six-game skid.
The contest was close in the early going, with UNCG leading 11-10 on a Jazz Weaver jumper midway through the frame. A Wakama layup put Western back on top, however, and the Catamounts would not trail again.
WCU finished the first half on a 16-4 run, with consecutive 3-pointers from Caitlin Hollifield and Campbell turning a two-possession game into a double-digit lead for the Catamounts with fewer than five minutes to play in the opening half.
Western then exploded out of the gates after intermission, hitting shots seemingly at will to make it a 40-15 spread with 15:18 remaining in the contest. The Catamounts scored on six of their first eight possessions of the second half.
A Headley layup finally stopped the run, but with 6:34 gone in the half before the Spartans scored, the Catamounts' lead was too much to overcome. Menendez had seven points in the early spurt.
WCU would push its lead above 30 points late in the contest.
UNCG senior Sarah Folwell had a nice sequence for the Spartans late in the game, blocking a shot and grabbing the rebound. She then fired the ball ahead to Breonna Patterson, who streaked up the court and found a trailing Folwell for a 3-pointer.
The triple was UNCG's only one of the day, as the Spartans went 1-for-16 from long range (6.3 percent).
Jarae Savage's layup with two seconds left prevented UNCG from matching the school record for fewest points in a contest.
Sophomore Janae' Stevenson had three blocked shots in the game, pushing her career total to 54. She now sits just four back of seventh in school history in that category.
UNCG hosts Appalachian State on Monday at 7 p.m. at Fleming Gymnasium. The Spartans will be playing at home for the first time since Dec. 6.
WESTERN CAROLINA 62, UNCG 29
UNCG (2-11, 1-4 SoCon)
Natalie Headley 4-8 3-3 11; Jazz Weaver 3-9 1-2 7; Janae' Stevenson 2-6 0-0 4; Sarah Folwell 1-4 0-0 3; Breonna Patterson 1-9 0-1 2; Jarae Savage 1-5 0-0 2; Nneka Awuruonye 0-2 0-0 0; Dayshaun Richbow 0-7 0-0 0; April Carson 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 12-53 4-6 29.
WESTERN CAROLINA (6-8, 1-4 SoCon)
Kaila'Shea Menendez 8-10 3-4 20; Rena Wakama 6-13 0-1 13; Ali Lane 3-6 1-2 8; Janae' McKinney 3-5 1-1 7; Makensey Campbell 2-6 0-0 5; Caitlin Hollifield 1-5 0-0 3; Diamond Hunnicutt 1-2 0-0 2; Shauna Terry 1-2 0-0 2; Alex Abraham 1-1 0-0 2; Melanie Stewart 0-2 0-0 0; Molly Fagan 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-53 5-8 62.
UNCG.......................... 15 14 - 29
Western Carolina.............. 26 36 - 62
3-point goals--UNCG 1-16 (Sarah Folwell 1-4; Jazz Weaver 0-1; Breonna Patterson 0-7; Jarae Savage 0-2; April Carson 0-1; Natalie Headley 0-1), Western Carolina 5-11 (Ali Lane 1-2; Caitlin Hollifield 1-1; Makensey Campbell 1-3; Rena Wakama 1-3; Kaila'Shea Menendez 1-1; Diamond Hunnicutt 0-1). Fouled out--UNCG-None, Western Carolina-None. Rebounds--UNCG 29 (Natalie Headley 5; Jarae Savage 5; Jazz Weaver 5), Western Carolina 42 (Makensey Campbell 10). Assists--UNCG 5 (Dayshaun Richbow 1; Jarae Savage 1; Janae' Stevenson 1; Breonna Patterson 1; Natalie Headley 1), Western Carolina 11 (Ali Lane 3; Alex Abraham 3; Rena Wakama 3). Total fouls—UNCG 11, Western Carolina 9. Technical fouls--UNCG-None, Western Carolina-None. A-1203
- UNCG -