GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG women’s basketball dropped its second contest of the season, first in Fleming Gymnasium Saturday evening to the Campbell Camels, 72-61. UNCG had four players score in double figures in the loss. The Spartans fall to 4-2 on the season, while Campbell improves to 4-1.
“We need to be more consistent defensively and on the glass.” Head coach Trina Patterson said, “We showed that we can score, we had four people in double figures. We did a below average job rebounding tonight, and Campbell was able to get most of the 50-50 balls and those are two things we pride ourselves on. Tonight, we didn’t do what we needed to do to stop Campbell. Credit to them, they hit shots, Summer Price had an excellent game.”
“At the end of the day, we saw some consistent effort from Amesha Miller,” Patterson continued, “Brandi Fier put together another nice game. We’re still figuring out where we are. We don’t have it all figured out yet; it’s too early in the season to have it all figured out. Our rotations and positioning will change. We have a talented team, when we put it together consistently, we’ll be dangerous. Right now that’s what we’ll need to work on, being more consistent. Those are issues you have with a young team, but the foundation we’ve laid out to be successful is rebounding and defense, and we didn’t do those well today.”
Sophomore Alexus Willey (Waldorf, Md./Riverdale Baptist) led the Spartan offense with 15 points and was 5-of-6 from the field. Brandi Fier (South Beloit, Ill./Illinois Central) scored 12 points, seven of which came during the final 10 minutes. Fier added four assists in her 33 minutes.
Newcomers Ije Ajemba (Lanham, Md./Old Dominion) and Amesha Miller (Suffolk, Va./King’s Fork) added 11 and 10 points respectively. Ajemba and Miller led the Spartans on the boards, with each recording five rebounds.
In the first quarter, Campbell went up by four on two different occasions. After scoring the first two baskets of the contest, UNCG answered. Caroline Bowns sunk all three free throws after a foul on a three-point attempt to go back up four, but Willey answered to cut the lead to one. Miller sunk a layup to tie the game at nine. After a Te’ja Twitty (Rutherfordton, N.C./Rutherfordton-Spindale) layup gave UNCG its first lead, Summer Price quickly erased it with a jumper to put Campbell back up 13-12 at the break.
After D.J. Howard (Orangeburg, S.C./Georgia Tech) hit her second three-pointer of the season to cut the Camel lead down to three, Campbell answered with an 8-0 to take its largest lead of the quarter at 29-18 with 3:11 remaining. UNCG used an 8-0 run of its own to cut the lead back to three with 0:49 remaining. Lauren McNamara-Clement hit a layup to increase the lead to five before Miller hit a pair of free throws with 0:07 remaining in the half to head to the intermission with the Spartans trailing by three, 31-28.
The Camels came out of halftime fast, taking a nine point lead just 2:10 into the second half. UNCG countered, with an 8-0 run of its own, Ajemba completed an old-fashioned three-point play and Fier added a shot from distance in the run. Another Ajemba layup held the Campbell lead at 41-40 with 4:04 remaining. Over the final four minutes, Campbell increased its lead to 50-44, with Price hitting a three pointer at the buzzer.
Campbell answered every Spartan point in the final quarter. UNCG cut the lead to four after Willey hit a pair of free throws, but the Camels went on a 7-2 run to extend the lead to 57-48. Bowns hit a three-pointer with 5:02 remaining to extend the Camel lead to 11. The Spartans could come no closer down the stretch as Campbell shot 7-of-14 from the field in the final 10 minutes.
UNCG is back in action Tuesday as it heads to Radford for a matchup with the Big South’s preseason favorite at 11 a.m.