GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNC Greensboro women’s basketball (11-17, 5-8 Southern Conference) scored the first basket and led the rest of the way in a 53-49 win over Chattanooga (12-16, 7-6) Thursday night at Fleming Gym. The Spartans had four starters finish with at least 10 points: Te'ja Twitty (19), Aja Boyd (11), Nadine Soliman (11) and Cece Crudup (10).
Trailing by 10 points entering the final quarter, the Mocs clawed back to make it a one-possession game in the final seconds. After a jumper by Twitty gave the Spartans another 10-point lead with six minutes left, UTC went on a 11-4 run. A Moc was fouled on a made three with 19 seconds left, but she missed the free throw and Twitty grabbed the rebound. She eventually went to the line with two seconds left and made a free throw to cement the game.
“There was more grit and determination in this game than the previous matchup at Chattanooga where we held the lead for most of the game and let them come back to win,” said UNCG head coach Trina Patterson. “The defense was better, and we know that defense and rebounding wins games. Te'ja Twitty had some offensive rebounding towards the end. Aja Boyd was crashing the glass, too, and Cece Crudup rebounded extremely well for a guard with eight of her own.”
UNCG limited Chattanooga to just five points in the first quarter, the third-lowest an opponent has scored in a quarter against the Spartans all season and the lowest in SoCon play. Soliman had the first seven points, and UNCG entered the second quarter with a six-point lead.
“Chattanooga averages 62 points a game, and we wanted to see under 20 points at halftime,” said Patterson. “We really focused on team defense: being in the gaps, taking away the three-point shot, isolations, etc. We trapped their ball screens, which is a more aggressive style for us. That turned into five points for them. They couldn’t recover. I thought our press was exceptionally disturbing to them, and our rebounding really improved from in the past.”
The Spartans had a more spread-out scoring in the second quarter as five players each had a made field goal.
Chattanooga opened the second half with a layup to cut its deficit to two points (21-19), but that was the closest it’d be for the rest of the game. Boyd scored eight of the Spartans’ next 12 points, and UNCG ended the third quarter with a 42-32 lead.
UNCG closes out the regular season at home Saturday at 4 p.m. against ETSU.
News and Notes
- Twitty grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season and her 19th in her career to move in sole place of third all-time in school history ahead of Alisa Moore.
- Twitty now has 671 career boards that moved her ahead of Chris Holec (1986-90) for eighth all-time in school history.
- Crudup was just two boards shy of her first career double-double and just one off her career-high in rebounds (nine against Georgia State in the season-opener).
- Soliman hit one three-pointer and now has 67 made three’s this year, tying Amanda Leigh (2009-10) for second-most in a single season.
- With four defensive boards, Soliman has 160 this year to move ahead of Shannon Young (157 in 1990-91) and Alisa Moore (159 in 1994-95) for third-most by a Spartan in a single-season.
- UNCG is 9-3 this season in Fleming and have a 4-2 record against SoCon opponents. With a 43-34 edge on the glass against UTC, the Spartans have a +6.0 rebounding margin at home this year.
- The Spartans feasted inside with a 34-16 advantage in points in the paint.
- The Spartans limited the Mocs to just four free throw attempts.
-- UNCG –