Courtesy: Photo Courtesy of Tim Cowie

Women's Hoops Opens SoCon Play Against Preseason Favorite Chattanooga 12-13-2013

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG women’s basketball team begins its 17th season of Southern Conference play when the Spartans host preseason favorite and defending champion Chattanooga Saturday at 2 p.m. inside Fleming Gymnasium. The Blue and Gold begins its SoCon slate with the Mocs for the third-straight season.

UNCG brings a 3-2 home record into the contest with wins over South Carolina State, College of Charleston and High Point while Chattanooga is 1-2 on the road with a victory over Jacksonville State and losses to Tennessee and Hawai’i.

The Spartans own a 4-4 record after falling to Atlantic Coast Conference member Clemson by a 77-71 score Dec. 5 at Fleming Gymnasium. Senior forward Janae' Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) dropped in 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to extend her school record double-double streak to six games. She was joined in double figures offensively by sophomore guard Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) and senior guard Breonna Patterson (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) who scored 20 and 15 points respectively. Mason posted 18 of her points in the second half, drained a career-best nine free throws (11 attempts) and dished out a game-high five assists while freshman guard Bailey Williams (Harrisonburg, Va./Spotswood) recorded four helpers. The Blue and Gold shot 40.7 percent from the field and knocked down a season-best 10 three-point field goals while also going 17-for-24 at the charity stripe (70.8 percent). Conversely, Clemson (5-3) fired at a 52.1-percent clip and was awarded a whopping 35 free throw attempts of which the Tigers hit 25 for 71.4 percent. In terms of rebounding, UNCG could muster only 24 boards while the Tigers racked up 38 – including 12 offensive rebounds.

The Spartans are averaging a Southern Conference best 69.0 points per game as well as 38.2 rebounds per contest. UNCG is shooting 38 percent from the field, 35.1 percent from beyond the arc and 69.9 percent at the charity stripe.

Chattanooga has accrued an overall record of 6-3 and is the winner of two-straight games - knocking off Colorado State in Hawai’i and beating Jacksonville State on the road. Senior Taylor Hall paces the Mocs in scoring and rebounding average at 13.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. Chattanooga is scoring 66.8 points per game while also pulling down 35.4 rebounds per contest. The Mocs are shooting 41 percent from the field, 32 percent beyond the arc and 71 percent at the free throw line.

In 16 league openers since joining the Southern Conference, UNCG has split them right down the middle at 8-8. However, the Spartans have lost seven of their last nine SoCon lidlifters.

Chattanooga has a commanding 32-6 lead in the all-time series between the schools, including a 14-2 mark at Fleming Gymnasium, and has captured the last 15 meetings. The last UNCG win in the series occurred Jan. 2, 2007 when the Blue and Gold toppled the Mocs 71-68 in the Scenic City.

Following their matchup with Chattanooga, the Spartans will play the second of their two early league contests Monday, Dec. 16, as they welcome Samford to Fleming Gymnasium for a 7 p.m. tip. 

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