Seniors Sent Off in Style in 73-62 win over ETSU for Women’s Basketball
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Playing in front of their home crowd for the final time in 2016-17, UNCG women’s basketball kept on rolling against ETSU. The Spartans knocked off the Buccaneers 73-62 to improve to 16-12 and 7-6 in Southern Conference action.
“I’m really happy for the seniors,” said head coach Trina Patterson. “This was their last game at Fleming and they all had great games. Considering the fact that we just knocked of Chatt two days ago I was a little bit concerned about a let down but that didn’t happen. Our offense was phenomenal. I attribute a lot of this to our conditioning. Our players are committed to it and I think we tend to wear teams out as the game goes on.”
Nadine Soliman (Cairo, Egypt/Mokattam Language School) was on fire, knocking down eight-of-14 attempts to finish with a game-high 20 points, also pulling down five rebounds.
For the second straight game, Te’ja Twitty (Rutherfordton, N.C./Rutherfordton-Spindale Central) notched a double-double, putting up 14 points and snatching 10 boards.
“A double-double means you’re a hard worker,” continued Patterson. “It’s relentless and I think that’s the best word to describe Te’ja. She’s just a relentless player and knows how to throw a knock out punch.”
Overall, the Spartans made exactly half of their field goal attempts, with the percentage rising for each successive quarter. A large reason for that high percentage was UNCG’s dominance inside the paint, outscoring ETSU 38-8 in the lane.
Most of ETSU’s scoring came from three players. Shamauria Bridges hit six threes to lead the team with 19 points, while the SoCon’s leading scorer, Tianna Tarter, added 17. Raven dean made four-of-eight field goals and six-of-seven free throws to finish with 14 points. The trio combined to score 50 of the Bucs’ 62 points.
The Spartans got out of the gates a little slow, spotting ETSU an 16-8 advantage seven minutes into the game. After the opening quarter, the Blue and Gold were behind 16-10.
ETSU maintained its lead midway through the second but that’s when Soliman took over. The freshman guard scored UNCG’s final eight points of the frame, giving the Spartans a 26-24 lead heading into halftime.
The Bucs fired back in the third quarter, regaining the lead at the 7:12 mark on a three point play by Dean. However, sparked by a pair of triples in less than 30 seconds by Alexus Willey (Waldorf, Md./Riverdale Baptist), UNCG closed the quarter on a 16-7 run to garner an eight point lead with three in the books.
While it was the Soliman show in the second quarter, the fourth period belonged to Twitty. The freshman forward tallied 10 points in the final frame and grabbed five boards along the way. The Spartans were able to maintain a comfortable lead throughout the quarter, going ahead by as much as 17.
ETSU, though, didn’t go quietly. The Bucs outscored UNCG 12-2 during a span less than two minutes to cut the deficit to just seven with 53 seconds to go. However, the Spartans converted their free throws down the stretch to put away the game and end Senior Day with a victory.