Women’s Hoops Falls Just Short In 59-56 OT Loss To Davidson
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The first time the UNCG women's basketball team played Davidson this season, the Wildcats downed the Spartans by 40 points. However, it was a much different story Wednesday inside Fleming Gymnasium as UNCG outplayed Davidson for nearly the entire contest but could not keep the visitors from escaping with a 59-56 overtime victory. The game marked the first overtime affair for the Blue and Gold this season.
The Spartans (6-20, 3-14) trailed the second-place Wildcats (17-9, 14-2) by four at the half, but eventually took a six-point lead with 7:35 to play before Davidson rallied to force the extra session.
Juniors Janae' Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) and Breonna Patterson (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) led four UNCG players in double figures with 12 points apiece while senior forward Sidnei Harmon (Cincinnati, Ohio/Turpin) and freshman guard Ebona Goins (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) added 10 points each. Harmon pulled down a career-high matching 14 rebounds for her second double-double of the campaign. Additionally, Patterson dished out a team-best four assists and tallied three steals.
The Spartans out-shot the Wildcats, hitting 35 percent as compared to Davidson's 31 percent, and won the rebounding battle 49-42. However, the difference in the evenly-played contest proved to be the turnover column as UNCG coughed up the ball 22 times which led to 24 Wildcat points off those miscues. The Spartans also missed some key free throws down the stretch that could have sealed the game in regulation, finishing 10-for-17 at the charity stripe – just 59 percent.
Freshman guard Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) started the evening's scoring with a jumper just 24 seconds into things. UNCG was able to keep in front for a stretch, but a jumper by Sophia Aleksandravicius afforded Davidson its first lead at 11-9 with 11:44 on the clock.
The Wildcat advantage grew to four at 14-10 when Shneeka Center hit a free throw, but consecutive Spartan jumpers knotted the proceedings at 14 with 9:11 remaining in the half. After another free throw by Center swung the score back in Davidson's favor, 15-14, the Wildcats out-scored the hosts 5-0 over the next 3:20 to push ahead by six. A jumper by Harmon capped a quick 6-2 run by UNCG which made the score 22-20 at the 2:17 mark, but a triple by Laura Murray with 58 seconds on the clock allowed Davidson to take a 27-23 edge into the break.
Aleksandravicius and Dakota Dukes netted eight points to lead the Wildcats in the first 20 minutes while Mason scored seven for the Spartans. Harmon racked up eight rebounds in the stanza to help UNCG build a 25-21 cushion on the glass. The Spartans did not shoot well, hitting just 28 percent of their attempts from the field, but the Davidson was not much better at 35 percent.
The Blue and Gold seized the momentum out of halftime, moving in front 31-27 when Patterson made one of two shots at the line. A steal and score by Murray put the Wildcats back ahead 33-32 at the 16:34 mark but Stevenson answered quickly with a layup as Davidson's lead was short lived. Goins knocked down a pair of charity tosses to give UNCG its largest lead of the evening at 38-33, but Murray answered with a three before Barbara Sitton dropped in a layup off a Spartan turnover to tie the proceedings.
The teams traded the lead back and forth until, with 7:35 remaining in regulation, freshman guard Jazmine Missouri (Kensington, Md./Academy of the Holy Cross) drained a free throw which gave UNCG a six-point cushion at 50-44.
Dakota Dukes capped a 7-0 run which afforded the Wildcats a 51-50 lead with 2:09 left, but Stevenson converted a three-point play after a beautiful move to the basket to make it 53-51 with just 1:41 on the clock. Patterson attempted to put the Spartans further ahead with a three, but Aleksandravicius blocked the attempt with 39 seconds remaining and took the ball down the floor to tie the game with a layup. Sitton stole the ensuing inbounds pass, but after a few fouls by UNCG, Laura Murray came up short in the lane and Harmon came down with the rebound. Mason had a great look at the bucket as time expired, but her runner bounced off the rim.
Patterson put the Spartans in front by three, 56-53, with a basket and a free throw as 3:06 showed on the overtime clock. Stevenson looked to have a clean block on Aleksandravicius at the 1:19 mark, but she was whistled for her fifth foul on the play. The Wildcat senior knocked down both free throws to bring her team within one.
Missouri turned the ball over on the next UNCG possession, allowing Sitton to get the bucket and draw a foul on Patterson. She was true on both charity tosses, pushing Davidson back into the lead by one. Patterson drove the lane and put up a shot with 27 seconds left, but she missed and Sitton grabbed the rebound. Murray then drained both free throws to make the score 59-56 with 22 seconds left. Mason attempted a three as the clock ticked down to eight seconds, but her shot was off. Aleksandravicius grabbed the defensive rebound and the Wildcats were able to run out the clock.
The Blue and Gold ends its four-game homestand Saturday, Feb. 23, welcoming Appalachian State to Fleming Gymnasium. The Spartans and Mountaineers will tip at 2 p.m.
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