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Women’s Hoops Squares Off Against Western Carolina Monday in Cullowhee

Courtesy: UNCGSpartans.com
         
Release: February 16, 2014
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CULLOWHEE, N.C. – The UNCG women’s basketball team closes a quick two-game road stint Monday evening, facing off against Western Carolina in Cullowhee. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Live stats and a live video feed (subscription required) are available courtesy of the Western Carolina athletics department.

The Spartans look to earn a season series split with the Catamounts after Western captured a 60-49 decision Jan. 17 in Greensboro. The Catamounts have won five straight over the Spartans and lead the all-time series 31-25 - including a 14-9 mark at the Ramsey Regional Activity Center.

In the first meeting, UNCG hit just 14 of 60 attempts from the field while Western Carolina knocked down 23 of 51 to finish at 45.1 percent. The Spartans also hit just two of 16 three-point field goal attempts. The Blue and Gold did win the rebounding battle, 42-37, and picked up 17 offensive boards – but UNCG was also plagued by 21 turnovers. The Catamounts turned the ball over 20 times but recorded 14 steals to help in their defensive efforts. The teams also combined for 13 blocked shots.

Freshman forward Jade Scaife (Fort Washington, Md./Archbishop Spalding) paced the Spartans with 10 points and seven rebounds while Rena Wakama tallied 21 points and five boards for the visitors. Alexis Carter also posted four blocks for Western to offset three blocks by UNCG freshman center Mariah Wilson (Atlanta, Ga./North Atlanta). Senior forward Janae' Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) also totaled eight points, seven rebounds, one block and one steal.

Both teams will attempt to get back on the winning track as UNCG fell at Appalachian State Saturday and Western Carolina has dropped its last three contests. The last time the Blue and Gold won in Cullowhee was Jan. 3, 2011 when the Spartans topped the Catamounts 56-50.

The Blue and Gold enters the game with a 6-18 overall record and 2-11 league mark after losing at Appalachian State Saturday. The Spartans are averaging 63.8 points per game and are allowing opponents to score 73.1 points per contest. The Blue and Gold owns a -0.9 margin on the glass, averaging 39.3 rebounds and giving up 40.2 boards per game. The Spartans are first in the league in offensive rebounding at 15.9 per outing. In terms of shooting, UNCG is firing at a 36.5 percent clip from the field, 31.5 percent from beyond the arc and 63.6 percent from the free throw line.

Sophomore guard Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) and Stevenson lead the team in scoring average at 12.3 points per game while Stevenson paces the Spartans in rebounding average at 8.1 boards per contest. The Blue and Gold uses its bench liberally as nine players have appeared in 22 or more games.

Western Carolina is 11-14 overall and 5-9 in Southern Conference action after suffering a 65-61 setback against Elon Saturday. The Catamounts are averaging 59.2 points per game while giving up 61.1 per contest. WCU also pulls down 37.6 rebounds per contest while allowing 40.8 - a rebounding margin of -3.2. The Catamounts are shooting 37.2 percent from the field, 31.2 percent from deep and 61.6 percent at the free throw line.

Wakama is the top offensive force for Western, averaging 10.3 points per game, while Shauna Terry leads the squad in rebounding average at 5.0 boards per outing. WCU ranks third in the league in scoring defense and has held the Spartans under 50 points the last six meetings.

Following its matchup with Western Carolina, UNCG returns home next weekend for its final two home games. The Spartans begin the weekend against Furman Saturday, Feb. 22. Tipoff from Fleming Gymnasium is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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