BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – A lengthy scoring drought by the UNCG women’s basketball team to start the second half allowed Gardner-Webb to record a 71-60 non-conference victory Monday night at Paul Porter Arena. The Blue and Gold falls to 0-2 overall while GWU improves to 2-0.
Senior Breonna Patterson (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) led the Spartans with 16 points while junior guard Jarae Savage (Marietta, Ga./North Cobb) pulled down a team-best eight rebounds. Savage also reached double figures with 12 points and sophomore guard Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) chipped in with 10 points. Catrina Green anchored the Runnin Bulldogs with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
Gardner-Webb had a large advantage at the free throw line as UNCG was whistled for 29 fouls as compared to 21 for the Runnin Bulldogs. As a result, GWU went to the line 37 times but only shot 56.8 percent – missing many of those attempts in the final two minutes. The Blue and Gold shot under 30 percent for the second-straight game, making just 27 percent of their shots from the field (18-for-66). Conversely, Gardner-Webb fired at a 41.8 percent clip, knocking down 23 of 55 tries. The Runnin Bulldogs also won the rebounding war by a large margin at 54-40 – including
Gardner-Webb raced out to an 8-2 advantage just 2:25 into the contest on the strength of six points from Green. The Runnin Bulldogs would extend the lead to 12-4 before a layup by senior guard Janae’ Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) and a three by Patterson helped slice the UNCG deficit to 12-9. Patterson knocked down another triple with 12:06 on the clock to knot the score at 14 before Jasmine Dale gave GWU the lead back with a jumper on the next possession.
The Spartan defense clamped down from there, holding Gardner-Webb scoreless until the 8:03 mark when a jumper by Candace Brown made the score 19-18 in favor of the Blue and Gold. A free throw by freshman center Mariah Wilson (Atlanta, Ga./North Atlanta) gave UNCG its largest lead of the half at 23-18 with 6:12 remaining and the Spartans would lead by as many as four with time winding down.
The Runnin Bulldogs began to answer down the stretch, eventually moving in front 30-26 on a three by Olivia Parker. UNCG responded with four quick points to tie the score before a three by Kiera Currie with seven ticks on the clock allowed Gardner-Webb to take a 33-30 advantage at the break.
Patterson paced all scorers with 11 points in the first 20 minutes while Stevenson chipped in with six points and six rebounds. Parker and Green both scored seven points to lead the home side while Tabby Koerner had a big eight rebounds to help GWU win the rebounding battle 28-22. Both squads made 10 field goals with Patterson draining three long-range shots.
A three by Dale helped Gardner-Webb go on a 7-0 run to begin the second half as the Runnin Bulldogs built a 40-30 lead with 15:51 left in the contest. UNCG continued to struggle offensively, scoring just two points in the first eight minutes of the stanza and letting GWU move in front 46-32.
The pace picked up from that point as the Spartans tried to rally. A layup by freshman guard Shanese Harris (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) made it 53-42 as the clock ticked under eight minutes. UNCG could never quite get the lead under eight points however as Gardner-Webb was able to hold on down the stretch.
The Spartans open the home portion of their schedule this Friday, welcoming South Carolina State to Fleming Gymnasium for a 2 p.m. tipoff.