For video of UNCG coach Wendy Palmer's postgame comments, click here.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG held a one-point lead with less than four minutes to go, but College of Charleston finished the contest on a 13-2 run to take a Southern Conference road win over the Spartans on Friday, 52-42 at Fleming Gymnasium.
A pair of Sidnei Harmon free throws gave UNCG (2-13, 1-6 SoCon) a 40-39 advantage coming out of the last media timeout. But after possessions by both teams came up empty, CofC's Megan Fischer hit a jumper for the game's 15th lead change, putting the Cougars (3-13, 2-5 SoCon) back on top by a point.
Just over a minute later, Alyssa Frye hit a back-breaking 3-pointer to make it a two-possession game with 2:10 left, and momentum was clearly in College of Charleston's favor.
A UNCG turnover later, the Cougars came out of a 30-second timeout and found 6-5 center Mikaela Hopkins with the inbounds pass in the paint. Hopkins lobbed up a short jumper that fell for a six-point CofC advantage, and after another Spartan turnover, UNCG was forced to foul to stop the clock.
Fischer knocked down both ends of her one-and-one and after UNCG's third straight turnover, Frye did the same thing to cap an 11-0 run and make it 50-40 with 38 seconds to go.
Breonna Patterson got a jumper to fall with 24 seconds left, but by then it was too late as the Cougars snapped their eight-game losing streak.
"We got ahead early, and I don't think they were expecting us to play well early," UNCG coach Wendy Palmer said. "And then the tides turned and they played really well, hit open shots and got a lot of hustle plays. The game definitely went in their favor tonight and they played well. They played a really good game down the stretch."
Patterson led UNCG with nine points, while Janae' Stevenson, Sarah Folwell and Dayshaun Richbow had six each. Stevenson had a season-high 12 rebounds, three shy of her career high, and moved into a tie for seventh in UNCG history in career blocked shots. She had two on the evening, pushing her career total to 57 in just 43 games.
"She was a huge presence on the boards in the first half and continued into the second half," Palmer said. "We've got to have that every night. Every game, I think that young lady sees something she can do and bring to this team, so we're looking for the game that she brings them all. But she's working really hard and we're going to keep working and go back to the drawing board and come out every night fighting."
Frye finished with a game-high 14 points for the Cougars and went 4-for-8 from 3-point range. Hopkins, Fischer and Latisha Harris had eight points each.
The game was close throughout, with neither team leading by more than 10. There were five ties to go along with the 15 lead changes.
The Spartans' biggest lead came late in the first half after a 9-1 run put UNCG up 18-11. Folwell got the spurt started with one of her two 3s on the night, while Richbow capped it with a pair of jumpers.
CofC would get back to within three on a Cathryn Hardy three-point play before another Richbow bucket put UNCG up 21-16 with 4:24 left in the first. The Cougars finished the half on a 7-0 run, however, taking a 23-21 lead into the break.
The Cougars would score first in the second frame to make it a two-possession game, but the Spartans would tie it at 27 on a Natalie Headley jumper. Neither team led by more than three points for the next 12-plus minutes with the lead swapping hands eight times before the Cougars made their game-clinching run.
The Spartans had just 14 turnovers in the game, but four came in the crucial final two minutes.
UNCG hosts Georgia Southern on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Fleming Gym.
COL. OF CHARLESTON 52, UNCG 42
COL. OF CHARLESTON (3-13, 2-5 SoCon)
Alyssa Frye 4-11 2-4 14; Mikaela Hopkins 4-5 0-0 8; Megan Fischer 2-7 4-4 8; Latisha Harris 4-11 0-2 8; Cathryn Hardy 2-6 2-3 6; Christy Hewatt 1-2 1-1 3; Alexis Hicks 1-1 0-0 2; Jillian Brown 1-5 0-0 2; Deidre Ramer 0-1 1-2 1; Brittany Johnson 0-1 0-0 0; Jazz Green 0-2 0-2 0. Totals 19-52 10-18 52.
UNCG (2-13, 1-6 SoCon)
Breonna Patterson 4-7 0-0 9; Sarah Folwell 2-5 0-0 6; Janae' Stevenson 2-10 2-2 6; Dayshaun Richbow 3-9 0-2 6; Natalie Headley 2-10 1-2 5; Jarae Savage 2-6 0-2 4; Sidnei Harmon 1-2 2-2 4; April Carson 1-1 0-0 2; Nneka Awuruonye 0-3 0-0 0; Jazz Weaver 0-1 0-2 0. Totals 17-54 5-12 42.
Col. of Charleston............ 23 29 - 52
UNCG.......................... 21 21 - 42
3-point goals--Col. of Charleston 4-16 (Alyssa Frye 4-8; Megan Fischer 0-3; Latisha Harris 0-1; Jillian Brown 0-1; Brittany Johnson 0-1; Jazz Green 0-2), UNCG 3-10 (Sarah Folwell 2-5; Breonna Patterson 1-2; Dayshaun Richbow 0-1; Jarae Savage 0-2). Fouled out--Col. of Charleston-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Col. of Charleston 41 (Latisha Harris 5; Megan Fischer 5; Cathryn Hardy 5; Mikaela Hopkins 5), UNCG 34 (Janae' Stevenson 12). Assists--Col. Of Charleston 11 (Jillian Brown 7), UNCG 6 (Breonna Patterson 3). Total fouls--Col. of Charleston 11, UNCG 15. Technical fouls--Col. Of Charleston-None, UNCG-None. A-324
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