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Soliman Scores 17 as Spartans Fall at Wofford 01-07-2017

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Nadine Soliman (Cairo, Egypt/Mokattam Language School) scored 17 points in a 54-48 loss to the Wofford Terriers on Saturday afternoon. The Spartans fall to 9-8 on the season, and 0-2 in Southern Conference play.  Wofford improves to 11-5 overall, and 2-0 in SoCon action.

“This is a really tough conference,” Head coach Trina Patterson said, “every night is going to be a grind, every Thursday and Saturday we’re playing in a league where the RPI is improving.  Every game is going to be like tonight. There are a lot of good players. We made some plays late, we had an eight-point lead, but we weren’t able to maintain that lead.  We know we can compete, we just haven’t figured out how to win conference games yet.

 “I was encouraged to see 20 offensive rebounds, we have to turn those into possessions, with fouls or scores." Patterson continued, "We had many more possessions than Wofford did. We did a great job in our press, we created a lot of our own possessions because we were really struggling offensively. When we struggled on the offensive side, we made up for it on the defensive end. I’m really encouraged with the play of Mangela (Ngandjui). I thought she came off the bench and gave us great energy. She has showed a lot of promise against our conference opponents.”

UNCG outrebounded the Terriers by a 42-32 margin. Included in those 42 rebounds were 20 offensive rebounds.  India Timpton (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) led the Spartans with eight rebounds, with freshman Te’ja Twitty (Rutherfordton, N.C./Rutherfordton-Spindale Central) adding seven. Shanese Harris (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) added eight points. Timpton, Twitty and Mangela Ngandjui (Upper Marlboro, Md./Riverdale Baptist) all added five.

The first quarter ended with UNCG and Wofford knotted at 14. The Spartans were able to capitalize on five Terrier turnovers to turn them in to seven points, including a fast break bucket by Harris.

UNCG started the second quarter on a 6-0 run, taking a 20-14 lead, capped by a Bailey Williams (Harrisonburg, Va./Spotswood) jumper. Wofford regained its lead with 3:25 remaining in the quarter when Marissa Bayer hit a jumper.  A Sarah Traynor 3-pointer put the Terriers up 28-24, before Alexis Pitchford (Orlando, Fla./Winter Park) scored another fast break basket.  UNCG trailed 28-26 at the end of the first half.

The Spartans earned their largest lead of the evening in the third quarter.  The Spartans used a 13-0 run to take a 39-32 lead with 2:48 remaining in the third quarter.  Soliman converted four shots in the run, including a 3-point basket. .  Back-to-back baskets from Ngandjui and Soliman put UNCG up eight points before Wofford closed the final 0:30 out scoring four-straight points.

Wofford continued its run in the fourth quarter, scoring the first four points, trimming the Spartan lead to 45-41. Grayson Pinholster scored back-to-back jumpers to trim the lead to one converted a pair of free throws to give Wofford the 47-46 lead. Wofford closed the game on an 8-2 run, and went 7-7 from the charity stripe in the period.

The Blue and Gold returns to action Thursday, Jan. 12 as it hosts the Mercer Bears at 7:00 p.m. inside Fleming Gymnasium.