Women’s Hoops Falls To Georgia Southern In Statesboro, 67-53
STATESBORO, Ga. – Georgia Southern raced out to a sizable advantage in the first half and did not look back, picking up a 67-53 Southern Conference victory over the UNCG women's basketball team Saturday night at Hanner Fieldhouse.
The loss ties the Spartans (6-22 overall) with Wofford for 10th place in the league standings with one game to play as both teams are now 3-16. Depending on Monday's outcome with the Terriers, the Blue and Gold will either be the 10th or 11th seed at the upcoming conference tournament.
Junior forward Janae' Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) tallied her fifth double-double of the season, racking up 15 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman guard Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) also reached double figures offensively with 11 points.
Georgia Southern (7-21, 6-13) ended up at 47 percent from the field in the game, hitting 27 of 57 shots while holding the Spartans to 35 percent (23-for-65). The Eagles also ended up with the upper hand in rebounding at 40-33. UNCG turned the ball over just four times in the second stanza to end up with 12 for the contest while GSU coughed up the ball 16 times – leading to 11 steals and nine points for the Blue and Gold.
The Eagles honored three seniors before the game and came out of the gates with purpose, building an 8-2 lead in the first four minutes. That advantage ballooned to 17-4 when Anna Claire Knight converted an old-fashioned three-point play at the 12:23 mark.
Jordi Cook pushed GSU even further ahead when she knocked down a three to make the score 26-8 with 8:21 remaining in the stanza. Things did not get much better before the break as Knight hit a jumper with a little over a minute left to send the Eagles into the locker room with a 42-24 edge.
Georgia Southern blistered the nets in the first 20 minutes, knocking down 17 of 31 their attempts from the field (55 percent), while the Spartans hit just 30 percent of their tries (10-for-33). A slight advantage went to the Eagles in terms of rebounding, 19-18, with UNCG racking up eight offensive boards to GSU's four. The Blue and Gold turned the ball over eight times as compared to the Eagles' five miscues.
A pair of Georgia Southern players did most of the damage for the home team in the first half as Meredyth Frye (15) and Knight (12) combined for 27 points. Freshman guard Ebona Goins (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) paced the Spartans with seven points while Stevenson pulled down the same number of rebounds.
Freshman guard Lucy Mason scored the second half's first points, but UNCG could only trade baskets with the Eagles as Frye knocked down a short jumper from the left side to make the score 50-30 at the 14:42 mark.
The Spartans attempted to rally, scoring the next five points as sophomore guard Jessica Collins (Raleigh, N.C./Eckerd College) drilled a three from the left and cut UNCG's deficit to 50-35. However, the Blue and Gold could not maintain the momentum and a triple by Knight quickly extended GSU's cushion up to 21 points at 60-39 with 8:32 showing on the clock.
Clamping down on defense, the Spartans limited the home side to just two points over the next six minutes. A free throw by Mason drew UNCG to within 62-49 with 2:21 to go, but Frye nailed a three moments later to keep the Spartans at an arm's length and effectively seal the contest.
UNCG returns home for its regular season finale Monday, March 4, hosting Wofford at 7 p.m. inside Fleming Gymnasium. The Spartans will recognize seniors Sidnei Harmon and Natalie Headley before the game.
- UNCG -