Courtesy: Photo Courtesy of Tim Cowie

Tulsa Edges Womenís Basketball 76-71 In New York 12-30-2013

THE BRONX, N.Y. – Monday’s non-conference finale between the UNCG women’s basketball team and defending Conference USA champion Tulsa went down to the wire and the Golden Hurricane took advantage of a 30-17 difference in fouls called to post a 76-71 victory to close the Fordham Holiday Classic at Rose Hill Gymnasium.

Tulsa knocked down 29 of 37 attempts from the line to hold on while the Spartans were awarded just 17 free throw shots – draining 12 of them. The Golden Hurricane shot 40.7 percent from the field (22-of-54) and held UNCG to 26-of-66 efficiency (39.4 percent). Tulsa also ended up with a 40-39 advantage in rebounding and forced the Blue and Gold into 15 turnovers while committing 12 of its own.

Senior guard Breonna Patterson (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) led four Spartans in double figures offensively with 17 points. Senior forward Janae' Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) followed with 12 points while freshman guard Bailey Williams (Harrisonburg, Va./Spotswood) and freshman forward Jade Scaife (Ft. Washington, Md./Archbishop Spalding) netted 11 apiece. Scaife fell just short of a double-double as she pulled down nine rebounds. Junior guard Jarae Savage (Marietta, Ga./North Cobb) also chipped in with nine points and eight rebounds.

Williams put UNCG on top with a free throw before Stevenson knocked in a layup to make it 3-0. Ashley Clark completed a three-point play to make it 8-3 in favor of Tulsa but Savage put in a layup with 16:42 on the clock to pull the Spartans within 8-5. A three-point field goal by Patterson (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) made the score 10-8 before the Hurricane went on a 7-2 run to forge ahead 17-10.

A triple by Williams ignited a 9-2 UNCG run which tied the score at 19 with 6:54 remaining before the break, but Tulsa responded with 6-3 run of its own to re-establish a three-point edge as time ticked down. The Blue and Gold would take the lead back thanks to a three by Mason, making it 27-26 at 4:09, however the Hurricane would out-score the Spartans 10-5 the remainder of the period to take a 36-32 edge into the break.

Williams and Stevenson scored six points apiece for UNCG in the first 20 minutes while Mason and Scaife pulled down four rebounds each. Tulsa shot 41 percent from the field (12-of-29) and limited the Spartans to 34 percent (11-of-32). The Hurricane also held a slight 21-19 advantage on the glass.

Tulsa went up by six just 10 seconds into the second stanza with a layup from Erika Lane before Savage answered with an offensive rebounds and a put in. A layup by Stevenson deadlocked the score at 38 with 18:09 on the clock before Lane dropped in another bucket to put her team back on top.

The Golden Hurricane stretched their advantage to six at 49-43 after a layup by Loren McDaniel but a three-pointer by Patterson sliced the deficit to just one at 50-49 with 10:24 to play. Tulsa looked to pull away after a Mariah Turner layup made the score 56-51 at 7:49, but a three-point play by Savage made it a one-point affair once more at 59-58.

Patterson knocked down a layup to keep UNCG close, 63-62, with 3:16 remaining and the Spartans forced a Golden Hurricane turnover. However, the Blue and Gold could not convert on its end and two free throws by Stevi Parker put Tulsa ahead by three with 2:22 on the clock. UNCG could not quite catch up the rest of the way. A three-point field goal by Williams cut the deficit to four, 69-65, with 40 seconds left, but the Golden Hurricane was able to salt the game away at the free throw line.

Stevenson was selected to the Fordham Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team following the game.

The Spartans jump back into their league schedule this Saturday, Jan. 4, when they host local Southern Conference rival Elon at Fleming Gymnasium. The contest is scheduled for a 2 p.m. tipoff. 

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