Women's Hoops Powers Past Wofford On Senior Night
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Buoyed by its largest offensive output of the season, the UNCG women’s basketball team dismissed Wofford 87-79 before a Senior Night crowd of 502 Monday evening inside Fleming Gymnasium. The Spartans honored their lone senior – forward Janae' Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) – in a pregame recognition ceremony.
With the victory, the Blue and Gold extended its advantage in the all-time series to 31-8 – including a 16-2 mark in Greensboro.
Stevenson would not disappoint the home fans on her Senior Night as she was one of three UNCG players to score in double figures with 13 points. Sophomore guard Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) paced all scorers with 20 points while junior guard Jessica Collins (Raleigh, N.C./Eckerd College) exploded for a season-high 19 points off the bench. Mason and freshman guard Bailey Williams (Harrisonburg, Va./Spotswood) combined to dish out 11 of UNCG’s 15 assists. Junior guard Jarae Savage (Marietta, Ga./North Cobb) also chipped in with eight points a team-high eight rebounds. As for the Terriers, Ashton Fleming led the way with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The bench was a large factor in the win for the Blue and Gold as the Spartan reserves accounted for 43 points as compared to the Terriers’ 11. Both squads ended up with identical shooting percentages of 42.9 as UNCG was 27 of 63 from the field and Wofford finished 24 of 56. The Spartans crushed the Terriers on the glass, pulling down 49 rebounds to Wofford’s 28 – including 19 offensive boards. UNCG also used the fast break to its advantage, scoring 17 points in transition.
It was evident that the Spartans were prepared to play right from the opening tip as the Blue and Gold rang up a 12-2 lead after a layup by Mason at 15:43. A free throw by Jordan Frazier helped the Terriers stay close at 17-13 with 12:13 to play in the half, but consecutive buckets by freshman guard Whitney Coleman (Cary, N.C./Cary) and Savage pushed the UNCG cushion back out to 21-13 at 11:12.
Wofford was able to slice its deficit to just one point on a couple of occasions as a jumper by Khadijah Joyner made the score 27-26 with 5:39 to go in the opening stanza. However, the Spartans ripped off a 10-2 run capped by a Stevenson layup to establish some breathing room at 37-28 right before the final official timeout. The Terriers answered again, drawing within 38-37 at 1:05 thanks to a pair of free throws by Michelle Merritt, but Savage ensured UNCG the lead at the break – hitting a pair of free throws with 53 seconds on the clock to close the period’s scoring.
Logan Morris led all players with 10 points in the first 20 minutes while Mason and Stevenson paced the home side with nine points apiece. UNCG held a 21-10 advantage in the rebounding column, but Wofford was the better shooting team - hitting 11 of their 24 attempts from the field (45.8 percent) and limiting the Spartans to 13 of 30 efficiency (43.3 percent).
The Blue and Gold established some space as the second half began, scoring the first three points to take a six-point advantage early. The Terriers came storming back, taking their first lead of the contest at 16:02 when Frazier hit a three to make it a 48-46 margin. Wofford would lead by as much as 50-46 with 15:37 to play, but UNCG netted the next six points to regain the upper hand at 52-50 and force a Terrier timeout.
A jumper by Collins at 11:52 extended the Spartan lead to 59-51, but Wofford answered the bell again – eventually tying the contest at 59 apiece on a layup by Fleming with 10:09 to play. A jumper by Stevenson kick-started a 10-2 run for the Blue and Gold and the Spartans would lead it 69-61 at 7:30 when sophomore guard Jazmine Missouri (Kensington, Md./Academy of the Holy Cross) hit a pair of free throws.
The Terriers made one last push as a three-point play by Frazier shrank the UNCG advantage to 71-66 with 5:36 remaining. However, Collins hit back-to-back threes to ignite the home crowd and push the Spartan edge to 11 at 77-66. Wofford would not threaten again as the Blue and Gold put the game away at the free throw line.
The Spartans close the regular season on the road this weekend, traveling to Samford and Chattanooga. UNCG will take on the Bulldogs in Birmingham Friday evening at 6 p.m. before squaring off against the newly-crowned regular season champion Mocs in Chattanooga at 2 p.m.