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Spartans rally late but fall to Davidson, 58-49

Courtesy: UNCGSpartans.com
         
Release: February 13, 2012
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For video of UNCG coach Wendy Palmer's postgame comments, click here.

GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG staged an impressive second-half comeback to whittle a 25-point deficit down to just five but couldn't complete the rally, falling to Davidson 58-49 in Southern Conference women's basketball action Tuesday at Fleming Gymnasium.

The Spartans (3-22, 2-15 SoCon) trailed Davidson (18-7, 14-2 SoCon) by 18 at 54-36 with just 4:04 to play, but used a 13-0 run over a span of just 2:59 to make a game of it. Janae' Stevenson got the run going with a short jumper, and after a pair of April Carson free throws, Stevenson stole the Wildcats' inbounds pass and laid it in to make it a 12-point spread.

After empty possessions by both teams, Stevenson came up with another big steal and found Jazz Weaver for a 3-pointer that made it a single-digit contest for the first time since midway through the first half.

UNCG got another stop on the other end and Breonna Patterson got a fastbreak layup to drop to make it 54-47. Natalie Headley then intercepted the inbounds play near midcourt and was fouled on the play, sending her to the free throw line for the one-and-one chance.

Headley nailed both free throws to draw UNCG within five at 54-49 with 1:05 left, but that was as close as the Spartans would get. With time winding down and Davidson's Kristen Johnsen grabbing a huge offensive rebound on the other end, UNCG was forced to foul to stop the clock.

Barbara Sitton made both of her attempts with 35.1 seconds left, and after a Weaver miss on the other end, Johnsen made both of hers with 23.7 ticks left to put the game on ice. Davidson went the final 6:19 without a field goal.

"In the second half, we came out and played really hard," UNCG coach Wendy Palmer said. "That's something I've been seeing in practice, so I was happy that it showed up; I only wish it had shown up in the first half. Heading into the next three games, if we come out and play that hard, give that much energy and effort, we're going to be OK."

UNCG was down by as many as 25 in the second frame, as the Wildcats opened the half on a 7-0 run to make it 45-20 with 16:07 to play. Headley's layup with 15:11 to go was UNCG's first basket of the half kicked off a 9-2 spurt to pull UNCG within 18.

Davidson kept its lead in the 17- to 21-point range for the next seven minutes before the Spartans made their late push.

The game featured several big runs by both teams. After Patterson scored the game's first basket, Laura Murray capped a 13-0 Davidson run with the first of her two 3-pointers on the evening to make it 13-2 less than four minutes in.

The Wildcats would push their lead to 13 at 20-7 before Patterson bookended a 9-0 run with a 3 and a layup to bring the Spartans within four at 20-16.

After the teams traded buckets, the Wildcats caught fire, ending the half on a 16-2 run and holding UNCG scoreless for 7:47 to take a 38-20 lead into the locker room. Five different players scored for Davidson during the spurt.

Patterson finished with a game-high 16 points and scored 10 of UNCG's first 16 points. Headley finished with 13 points.

Stevenson doubled her previous career high with four steals, two of which came in the crucial late-game push. She also blocked three shots, moving her season total to 33, the seventh-best in a season in school history. With 69 to her credit in her two-year career, she is tied for sixth in school history with former All-American Angie Polk (1985-89).

Sophia Aleksandravicius, the SoCon's Preseason Player of the Year, had 14 points and 10 rebounds for her 10th double-double of the season. Murray and Shneeka Center had 10 points each for the Wildcats, who won their seventh straight and retained their grip on second place in the SoCon. Davidson matched its school record with its 14th league win of the season.

The contest wrapped up stretches of five games in 11 days for both teams.

UNCG hits the road for its next two contests, starting with a game at College of Charleston at 2 p.m. Saturday.

AGATE
DAVIDSON 58, UNCG 49

DAVIDSON (18-7, 14-2 SoCon)
So Aleksandravicius 6-11 2-4 14; Shneeka Center 4-10 1-2 10; Laura Murray 3-9 2-2 10; Barbara Sitton 3-8 2-2 8; Kristen Johnsen 2-7 4-6 8; Amanda Ottaway 1-2 2-2 4; Katrin Chiemeka 1-4 0-0 2; Sarah Davis 1-2 0-0 2; Jasmine Calin 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-54 13-18 58.

UNCG (3-22, 2-15 SoCon)
Breonna Patterson 7-19 0-0 16; Natalie Headley 5-12 3-4 13; Jazz Weaver 3-8 0-0 7; Janae' Stevenson 2-7 0-0 4; Dayshaun Richbow 1-6 1-4 3; Sidnei Harmon 1-3 0-0 2; April Carson 0-2 2-2 2; Nneka Awuruonye 1-5 0-0 2; Jarae Savage 0-1 0-0 0; Sarah Folwell 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 20-65 6-10 49.

Davidson......................   38   20  -   58
UNCG..........................   20   29  -   49

3-point goals--Davidson 3-13 (Laura Murray 2-7; Shneeka Center 1-4; Katrin Chiemeka 0-1; Barbara Sitton 0-1), UNCG 3-12 (Breonna Patterson 2-6; Jazz Weaver 1-1; Dayshaun Richbow 0-1; April Carson 0-1; Jarae Savage 0-1; Sarah Folwell 0-2). Fouled out--Davidson-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Davidson 43 (Kristen Johnsen 14), UNCG 39 (Sidnei Harmon 8). Assists--Davidson 10 (Barbara Sitton 5), UNCG 8 (Dayshaun Richbow 4). Total fouls--Davidson 8, UNCG 12. Technical fouls--Davidson-None, UNCG-None. A-174

- UNCG -

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