Willey’s Career-High Helps Sharp Shooting Spartans to Win Over Barton
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG women’s basketball team (5-4) cruised to a 70-48 win over Barton Monday night in Fleming Gymnasium. A trio of freshman whom all scored in double figures led the Blue & Gold. Alexus Willey (Upper Marlboro, Md./Riverdale Baptist) had a career-high 18 points (4-for-5) while shooting a near-perfect 7-for-8 from the free throw line.
“We really shot the ball well today,” said head coach Trina Patterson. “I was really happy with our shooting. We had 20 assists on 26 field goals today, that’s a very good ration sharing the ball. We had a great inside-out game.”
The Spartans took a 13-8 lead in the first quarter after opening the game with a 9-2 run. Nadine Soliman (Cairo, Egypt/Mokattam Language School) led all scorers with nine points in the opening 10 minutes while Jade Scaife (Fort Washington, Md./Archbishop Spalding) had four rebounds, two points and a block.
Barton cut the Spartans lead to three points in the opening minutes of the second quarter but the Blue & Gold outscored the Bulldogs 17-10 in the period to lead by 12, 30-18, at halftime. UNCG held a 16-point lead in the second quarter after forcing three BC turnovers in a two and a half minute span.
Te'ja Twitty (Rutherfordton, N.C./Rutherfordton-Spindale Central) scored six points in the second quarter and helped the Blue & Gold to shoot 55.6 percent from the field.
After the break, Willey warmed up. She scored nine points in the third quarter connecting on a pair of three-pointers and making all three free throws after being fouled behind the arc. UNCG had its best offensive period in the third shooting 61.5 percent from the field. The Bulldogs brought the game within six with 1:33 to play in the third after a trey by Taura Jones but Willey answered back for the Spartans scoring easily from behind the arc on a pass from Alexis Pitchford (Orlando, Fla./Winter Park).
Willey led all scorers once again in the fourth quarter scoring five points for the Blue & Gold. Twitty pulled down five rebounds while scoring four points. UNCG out-rebounded the visitors 13-4 in the final ten minutes and outscored BC 18-8 down the stretch.
Overall, UNCG shot 52 percent in the win while holding its opponents to 30.2 percent including just 20 percent (2-for-10) from downtown. The Blue & Gold had 48 rebounds while Barton grabbed just 20. The Spartans had 28 turnovers but scored 19 points off Barton turnovers to make up for it.
“I was really pleased with our rebounding,” added Patterson. “We kind of did some backsliding so we focused on that this week and we also focused on our player defense. I think we did a really good job of playing good scouting report defense as well. We really need to focus on taking care of the ball for our next game.”
Twitty scored 15 points with eight rebounds and five assists in the win while Soliman added 10 points and four rebounds. Pitchford dished our seven assists in the win while grabbing six rebounds.
UNCG leads the all-time series 2-0 against Barton and will head to VCU for a 1 p.m. game in Richmond, Va., Sunday, December 11.