Greensboro, N.C. – UNCG’s women’s basketball team lost its first game of the season, 77-63, to UNC Asheville Monday night inside Fleming Gymnasium. The Spartans were led by freshman Nadine Soliman (Cairo, Egypt/Mokattam Language School) who had 25 points (10-for-19), 17 of which she scored in the second half. Shanese Harris (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) added ten points and a career-high four blocks.
The Spartans challenged defending Big South Champion UNC Asheville from the initial jump ball. The two would exchange baskets in the first quarter with the Bulldogs leading 22-20 after the opening frame. Soliman had seven points in the first ten minutes of action while UNCA was led by Tianna Knuckles who led all scorers with nine points including a paid of three-point shots.
Asheville pulled ahead in the second frame, outscoring UNCG 22-8 to lead 44-28 at the half. The Bulldogs ended the first half with a 12-0 run.
The Spartans shot 43.8 percent from the field in the first quarter but was held to just 12.5 percent from the field and 0-for-7 from behind the arc in the second quarter. Asheville won the battle on the boards outrebounding UNCG 22-18 and scoring 22 points in the paint.
The Spartans and Bulldogs were even in the third quarter, both scoring 16 points each. Shanese Harris came off the bench to score six points in the third for UNCG and lead all scorers. The Spartans forced nine turnovers and shot 58.3 percent from the field while holding UNC Asheville to 53.8 percent.
Soliman only got more comfortable in the paint as the game progressed. She tallied 12 points in the final 10 minutes as UNCG outscored Asheville 19-17. UNCG had its best offensive period from behind the arc in the final frame connecting on three-of-seven shots from downtown.
Overall, UNC Asheville shot 54.5 percent from the field and outrebounded UNCG 39-33 in the game. The Spartans surged in the second half but were unable to overcome the second quarter deficit.
The Spartans (1-1) hit the road for the first time under the direction of head coach Trina Patterson Thursday, November 17, when they travel to Tennessee Tech.