WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – UNC Greensboro women’s basketball (6-6) won its second consecutive game after the Spartans defeated Eastern Michigan (6-3) 49-44 at the West Palm Beach Invitational Thursday.
Junior guard Nadine Soliman led the Spartans with a game-high 17 points on 6-for-14 shooting from the floor, including 3-for-6 from the 3-point line and added five rebounds and two assists, while junior forward Te’ja Twitty nearly recorded a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds.
The Spartans scored five of the first eight points of the first quarter to take a two-point lead, 5-3, with 8:16 remaining in the quarter, but an Eagle jumper tied the game at five with 5:48 left. UNCG scored 11 of the final 14 points to take a seven-point lead, 16-9, after the first quarter.
The Eagles scored six of the first seven points of the second quarter to cut the lead to two points, 17-15, with 6:38 remaining in the quarter, but UNCG scored the next three points to increase the lead to five points, 20-15, with 4:55 left in the first half. Eastern Michigan scored the next seven points to take its first lead of the game, 22-20, with 46 seconds left, but a Soliman three-pointer gave the Spartans a point lead, 23-22, at the half.
The Spartans started the second half on fire scoring 12 of the first 13 points of the third quarter to increase the lead to 12 points, 35-23, with 4:40 remaining in the quarter, but Eastern Michigan scored the next nine points to cut the lead to three points, 35-32, with 2:22 left. A Willey three-pointer increase the lead to six points, 38-32, after the third quarter.
A Willey layup increase the Spartans lead to eight points, 40-32, in the fourth quarter with 9:47 remaining in the quarter, but Eastern Michigan scored nine of the next 13 points to cut the lead to three-points, 44-41, with 4:38 left. Neither team could score until the Eagles hit two free throws to cut the lead to a point, 44-43, with 49 seconds remaining in the game.
A Soliman three-pointer increase the lead to four points, 47-43, with 34 seconds left. An EMU free throw cut the lead to three points, 47-44, with 18 seconds, but after a Spartan turnover with 12 seconds, Twitty stepped in front of a pass and stole the ball with five seconds and was immediately fouled. Twitty hit both free throws to give the Spartans the five-point win as an Eagle three-pointer at the end fell short at the buzzer.
The Spartans finish the tournament against Seton Hall at 7 p.m. in West Palm Beach Friday.
-- UNCG –