Women's Basketball Entertains Western Carolina Saturday
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Coming off its first Southern Conference victory of the season at Wofford, the UNCG women's basketball team looks to keep the momentum going, hosting Western Carolina Saturday at Fleming Gymnasium. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.
The Blue and Gold will celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day before and during the game. NGWSD began in 1987 as a day to remember Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and her work to assure equality for women's sports. Hyman died of Marfan's Syndrome in 1986 while competing in a volleyball tournament in Japan. Since that time, NGWSD has evolved into a day to acknowledge the past and recognize current sports achievements, the positive influence of sports participation, and the continuing struggle for equality and access for women in sports.
The Spartans knocked off the Terriers by an 87-75 score in Spartanburg last Monday, snapping a nine-game losing streak in the process. The 87-point outburst and 59-percent shooting performance were both season highs. It was also the most points scored by UNCG since the Spartans dropped 88 on Elon in a 48-point victory Jan. 20, 2007.
Freshman guard Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) was sensational, netting a career-high 25 points on 9-for-11 shooting from the field. She was also 2-for-3 beyond the arc and 5-for-6 at the free throw line. Joining Mason in double figures was classmate and guard Ebona Goins (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) who dropped in a personal-best 16 points while also hitting a trio of three-point field goals. UNCG also benefitted from 11-point performances by two juniors in guard Breonna Patterson (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) and Janae' Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire). Dishing out six of the Spartans' 21 assists on the night was Patterson, who also tallied three steals.
UNCG's shooting accuracy extended to all parts of the floor as the Spartans nailed six of nine three-point field goal attempts (67 percent) and 13 of 18 free throws (72 percent). The Blue and Gold also won the rebounding battle 31-29 and pulled down 11 offensive rebounds. Effective defensive pressure forced the Terriers to cough up the ball 21 times, leading to 26 points off those miscues and 10 fast-break points.
• Saturday's contest marks the 62nd meeting between UNCG and Western Carolina with the Catamounts holding a slight 31-30 edge - including a 47-44 win in Cullowhee earlier this season. WCU scored in the final minute to surge ahead of the Spartans and seal a comeback victory.
• In the season's first meeting, Ciara Morris netted a career-best 13 points with 10 of them coming in the second half alone. She also paced the Spartans with eight rebounds and five steals. The difference in the game was found in the shooting percentages. UNCG put up 63 shots as compared to 40 for Western, but the Spartans hit just 17 field goals to finish with a 27-percent showing from the field. The Catamounts hit 45-percent of their tries conversely. Western Carolina also finished with a 42-32 advantage on the glass, but the Blue and Gold secured 16 offensive rebounds to the Catamounts' 10. The Spartans forced Western into 25 turnovers and committed only a season-low 12 themselves. UNCG also recorded double-digit steals for the fourth time in as many games this season with 12 – aided by Morris' five.
• Western played toe-to-toe with Davidson in its last outing, but fell short 65-56 in Cullowhee. The Catamounts hit a season-best nine three-pointers as Lindsay Simpson had three treys and scored 11 points in the game. Bench points were neck and neck as Western Carolina recorded 23 and Davidson had 22. The Wildcats out-rebounded the Catamounts 37-26 and tallied 36 of their points in the paint.
After facing Western Carolina, UNCG will embark on their last extended road trip of the season beginning Monday at College of Charleston. The Spartans and Cougars will tip off at 11:30 a.m. inside TD Arena.
- UNCG -