GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG women’s basketball heads to Asheville for the its 21st Southern Conference Tournament Thursday evening. The Spartans open the tournament tomorrow night, as they will take on the Chattanooga Mocs at 5:45 in the U.S. Cellular Center. The Spartans enter at 12-17 and 6-8 in the Southern Conference, earning the No. 6 seed. Chattanooga finished the regular season 17-11 and 8-6 in league play to earn the No. 3 seed.
There will be live stats and a video stream for all games in the Southern Conference Tournament. Live stats are available on StatBroadcast and the video streams are live on ESPN3 with Pete Yannity on the play-by-play, Robin Muller on color and Stormy Buonantony on the sideline. Links for these services are located on the UNCG women’s basketball schedule page.
UNCG has made 20 appearances in the SoCon Tournament, earning a 17-19 record. Five times the Spartans have made it to the finals, winning the SoCon Tournament title in 1998, the first year in the tournament. In that championship run the Spartans defeated Georgia Southern, 75-68 in the finals to earn its first bid in the Division I NCAA Tournament. The Spartans and Mocs have met up eight times in the SoCon Tournament, with Chattanooga holding a 7-1 advantage. Chattanooga has ended the Spartans’ tournament run in two of the last three seasons.
Chattanooga swept the season series with the Spartans, defeating UNCG 49-42 in McKenzie Arena and 73-57 in Fleming Gym. In the two games, Nadine Soliman (Cairo, Egypt/Mokattam Language School) leads the Spartans with 15.5 points per game and grabbed 5.5 rebounds per game. Ije Ajemba (Lanham, Md./Old Dominion) added 10.0 points per contest and hauled down 14.0 rebounds per game.
During the regular season, Soliman led the Spartans with a 14.0 points per game average and grabbed 29 steals. For her efforts, Soliman was named Second Team All-Southern Conference for the second season. Ajemba adds 11.9 points per game and grabbed a SoCon-best 12.3 rebounds per game as she was also a Second Team All-SoCon performer. She has set new Division I era school-records for offensive rebounds in a season, defensive rebounds in a season, total rebounds in a season and rebounds in a game. She trails Renee Coltrane for the all-time record of rebounds in a season, needing 22 to tie the record set in the 1983-84 season.
Alexus Willey (Waldorf, Md./Riverdale Baptist) and Te’ja Twitty (Rutherfordton, N.C./Rutherfordton-Spindale Central) added 9.6 and 9.5 points per game, respectively. Willey has missed the last three games and is still second on the team with 38 made 3-pointers. Twitty does her work down low, shooting 45.6 percent from the floor and grabbing 6.5 rebounds per game. In SoCon play, she trails only her teammate, Ajemba, with 8.1 rebounds per game in league action. Brandi Fier (South Beloit, Ill./Illinois Central CC) dished out a team-high 96 assists on the season and scores 6.4 points per game.
Keiana and Aryanna Gilbert lead Chattanooga into the SoCon Tournament. Keiana Gilbert was a First Team All-SoCon performer this year as she leads the team with 14.4 points per game. She shot 47 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3-point range. Aryanna Gilbert averages 12.8 points per game and is a 43 percent shooter.
Lakelyn Bouldin adds 12.3 points per game, hitting a team-high 59 3-pointers on the season. She shoots 39 percent from distance and 38 percent from the floor.