UNCG gets offense back on track in loss to league-leading App
For video of UNCG coach Wendy Palmer's postgame comments, click here.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG put four players in double figures and found the offense it had been lacking in its previous few games but came up short against Appalachian State on Monday, 81-66, despite hanging with the defending Southern Conference champions for the majority of the game.
Breonna Patterson scored a team-best 16 points for UNCG (2-12, 1-5 SoCon), which was within single digits of the Mountaineers (11-2, 5-0 SoCon) for much of the second half until a late-game push put App's lead into double figures.
Janae' Stevenson had 14 points for the Spartans, while Dayshaun Richbow matched her season high with 12 and Natalie Headley added 10.
The Spartans, who had averaged just 31.3 points per game in their last three contests, put four in double figures for the first time since a 70-53 win over North Carolina Central on Nov. 26.
"We definitely had a better effort tonight," UNCG coach Wendy Palmer said. "I'm proud of the young ladies for fighting through. We took a tough loss to Western Carolina (on Saturday). They worked really hard and came out with focus and put a better UNCG on the court tonight. Breonna Patterson is back after having her out for six games, and she's playing a lot more significant minutes right now, so I'm really pleased with that."
Courtney Freeman scored a career-high 23 points to lead App State, which shot an impressive 70.4 percent from the floor in the second half (19-for-27) to withstand several UNCG rallies. Anna Freeman added 18 points, Maryah Sydnor had 12 and Catherine Williams had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the game's only double-double.
Appalachian State used an 11-2 run shortly after halftime to turn a seven-point contest into a 51-35 advantage with 14:12 left in the game. UNCG did not back down, however, slowly chipping away to get its deficit back to seven.
A jumper from Headley and a rare 3-pointer from Richbow got UNCG back within eight at 55-47 with 12:34 to play, but a pair of Sydnor free throws made it a 10-point ASU lead again. After the teams traded buckets, a Sydnor layup made it a 12-point spread before Patterson hit the last of her three 3s to get the Spartans back within nine.
The deficit hovered between 8-11 for several minutes before a Headley layup made it 66-59 with just over seven minutes to play. The Mountaineers would push it back to 11 on a Canesha Edwards jumper with just under three minutes to play, but a fast break layup from Patterson and a Jazz Weaver free throw made it an eight-point spread with just 1:30 left.
That's when App blitzed the Spartans to widen the gap, getting a Courtney Freeman layup and an Anna Freeman layup on consecutive possessions before a UNCG turnover and an Edwards bucket made it a 14-point game in a matter of just 24 seconds.
The win moved the Mountaineers into a tie for first in the conference standings with Chattanooga at 5-0 in league play. Davidson, which entered play Monday atop the standings, suffered its first conference loss of the season at Wofford.
App won the rebounding battle 40-35, but UNCG matched its season high with 22 offensive boards, its most since Nov. 16 at No. 19 North Carolina.
Stevenson had a nice all-around game, grabbing six rebounds and not committing a turnover in 34 minutes of work.
"Janae' Stevenson was a presence inside early," Palmer said. "She was excited, got a couple of and-1 opportunities, and I'm really happy for her, because she's been working really hard and tonight was the first time that it was really showing on a consistent level throughout the game."
UNCG returns to action Friday when it will host College of Charleston in its annual Pack the House Challenge game. All tickets will be just $1. The game is set for 7 p.m. at Fleming Gym.
APPALACHIAN STATE 81, UNCG 66
APPALACHIAN STATE (11-2, 5-0 SoCon)
Courtney Freeman 10-13 3-3 23; Anna Freeman 7-14 3-5 18; Maryah Sydnor 4-7 2-2 12; Catherine Williams 5-5 0-0 10; Canesha Edwards 4-9 0-0 8; Chakeitha Weldon 2-4 0-0 4; Raven Gary 1-2 0-0 2; Kelsey Sharkey 1-4 0-0 2; Michelle Taylor 1-1 0-0 2; Katie Mallow 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-59 8-10 81.
UNCG (2-12, 1-5 SoCon)
Breonna Patterson 6-21 1-2 16; Janae' Stevenson 7-14 0-2 14; Dayshaun Richbow 4-12 3-4 12; Natalie Headley 4-7 2-2 10; Jarae Savage 2-3 2-2 6; Sidnei Harmon 1-2 3-4 5; Jazz Weaver 1-6 1-2 3; April Carson 0-4 0-0 0; Sarah Folwell 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 25-72 12-18 66.
Appalachian State............. 38 43 - 81
UNCG.......................... 29 37 - 66
3-point goals--Appalachian State 3-7 (Maryah Sydnor 2-2; Anna Freeman 1-4; Kelsey Sharkey 0-1), UNCG 4-17 (Breonna Patterson 3-12; Dayshaun Richbow 1-1; April Carson 0-1; Sarah Folwell 0-3). Fouled out—Appalachian State-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Appalachian State 40 (Catherine Williams 11), UNCG 35 (Janae' Stevenson 6). Assists--Appalachian State 24 (Chakeitha Weldon 8), UNCG 14 (Dayshaun Richbow 5). Total fouls- Appalachian State 14, UNCG 11. Technical fouls--Appalachian State-None, UNCG-None. A-379
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