Women’s Basketball Falls To Western Carolina In SoCon Tournament
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Western Carolina guard Justin Taylor came off the bench to score 11 second-half points and a game-high 21 overall to lead the seventh-seeded Catamounts to a 77-60 win over No. 10 seed UNCG in the first round of the 2014 Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Championship Friday at Kimmel Arena.
The Catamounts (14-16) will advance to take on No. 2 seed Furman Saturday at approximately 4:30 p.m.
The Spartans (7-23) trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half but cut it to six points at 43-37 with 15:50 left to play in the game. Western Carolina answered with a 10-0 run over the next three minutes to take control of the contest for good, with Taylor scoring seven points in the run on a layup, a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws.
A pair of Jarae Savage (Marietta, Ga./North Cobb) free throws briefly halted the run, but Western Carolina continued to extend its lead, with Erika Joseph scoring four straight to push it to 62-41 with 10:23 left to play.
The Spartans never got closer than 15 points the rest of the way.
Western fell one 3-pointer shy of its school record on the afternoon, going 10-for-19 from long range. Taylor led the way with a 4-for-4 effort from beyond the arc, while Rena Wakama and Makensey Campbell had two each.
The game was a close one early, with the teams trading the lead for the first three minutes. After Wakama’s layup tied the game at 8 with 17:04 to go in the first half, Taylor hit her first 3-pointer of the day to put the Catamounts back on top, ultimately for good.
The lead quickly ballooned to double digits, as another Taylor 3-pointer made it 28-16 with 9:21 to go in the first.
Two Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) free throws pulled UNCG back to within eight at 35-27 with 1:31 left before the break, but a Lane jumper made it a double-digit halftime lead for the Catamounts.
Wakama joined Taylor in double figure with 12 points, while Savage paced UNCG with a career-high matching 16. Mason (15), Janae' Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) (11) and Shanese Harris (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) (10) were also in double figures for the Spartans.
WCU shot 51.9 percent (28-for-54) from the floor for the game, including a 57.7-percent (15-for-26) showing in the first half. UNCG could never get going from the floor, shooting 34.4 percent (21-for-61) overall and just 14.3 percent (2-for-14) from 3-point range.