GREENSBORO, N.C. – Three players scored in double figures as the UNCG women’s basketball team cruised to a 96-35 win over the Southern Wesleyan Warriors Friday night in Fleming Gymnasium. The 96 points scored by the Spartans is tied for ninth-most all-time for UNCG inside Fleming, and is the most in a to open a season since the 1989-90 opener. Nadine Soliman (Cairo, Egypt/Mokattam Language School), Amesha Miller (Suffolk, Va./King’s Fork) and Ije Ajemba (Lanham, Md./Old Dominion) each scored in double figures.
“Its great to open the season with a win in front of an awesome crowd of 567 people.” Head coach Trina Patterson said. “There was a lot of energy and a lot of students in attendance which is great to see. We really saw some great things from our freshmen and our young players. We talked about how you can be unknown, but you can try to be unforgettable, and we have a lot of players who are unknown. Ije Ajemba had 15 points and 15 rebounds, Amesha Miller had 17 points and eight boards and Brandi Fier had a great game, she orchestrated the offense, those unknowns came out and played really well tonight.”
“This was a great team effort.” Patterson continued, “From the bench, I’m really proud of Aneka (Yelverton), another unknown, a freshman. I thought we did a good job offensively; we fouled a few too many times. We’ll have to get better with that, but overall I’m pleased with our performance tonight.”
The Spartan offense shot 50-percent from the field and outscored the Warriors 64-10 in the paint. UNCG quickened the pace of the game and dominated Southern Wesleyan, scoring 33 points on fast break opportunities and held SWU without a fast break bucket.
In Ajemba’s first game as a Spartan, the senior transfer tallied the team’s first double double of the season, going for 15 points and 15 rebounds. Soliman led all scorers with 23 points and Miller posted 17 off the bench. The Spartan defense didn’t allow a Warrior to score in double figures as UNCG limited SWU to shooting 17-percent from the field. Alexis Pitchford (Orlando, Fla./Winter Park) helped facilitate the offense as she dished out a game-high six assists to go with nine points.
The Spartan defense forced 20 turnovers and accounted for 14 steals, led by Ajemba and Dijana Milisic (Sydney, Australia/Blacktown Girls) who each earned three steals. Ajemba added three blocked shots in the contest.
Ajemba sunk a jumper a minute into the contest to break the scoreless tie and the Spartans never looked back. The Blue and Gold opened the game on a 7-0 run before SWU scored its first points on a three-point field goal from Aneysa Williams. After cutting the lead back to four after another Williams’ three-pointer, UNCG closed the first quarter on a 9-0 run to take a 19-6 lead after the first 10 minutes of play.
UNCG slowed down a bit to start the second quarter before finishing the final 3:01 of the half on a 8-0 run. Miller sank four-of-four free throws in the run, with Cece Crudup (Richmond, Va./Highland Springs) and Milisic adding layups to go up 35 headed to halftime.
The Spartans continued to pour it on in the second half, outscoring SWU 48-22 in the final 20 minutes. UNCG’s transition game played a pivotal role in the half as UNCG scored 21 fast break points to increase its run its lead up to 61 following back-to-back fast break layups by Aneka Yelverton (Suffolk, Va./Naval Academy Prep) in the final minute.
The Spartans return to the court Sunday afternoon, as they’ll host Greensboro College at 2 p.m. in Fleming Gym.