GREENSBORO, N.C. – VCU used an uncharacteristically high-percentage shooting performance Wednesday afternoon to post a 95-72 non-conference victory over the UNCG women’s basketball team at Fleming Gymnasium.
The Rams (5-1) knocked down 38 field goals on 63 attempts – including 10 three-point field goals – to end up at 60.3 percent from the field. VCU entered the contest shooting just 39 percent. The visitors also eclipsed their average from beyond the arc, shooting 58.8 percent from range after making just 26 percent of their three-point attempts coming in. UNCG (3-3) shot 55.6 percent from the field in the second half and ended up at 41 percent for the game (24-of-59).
Thanks to 16 offensive rebounds, the Spartans won the battle on the glass by a 33-32 margin. UNCG limited VCU to 10 offensive boards – seven under its season average. The teams combined for 41 turnovers while the Rams posted more assists (16-13) and steals (9-5). The Blue and Gold went to the line 27 times and hit 21 of the attempts while holding VCU to just 12 trips to the foul line where it was good on nine of the shots.
Senior forward Janae' Stevenson(Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) tallied the only double-double of any player on the floor with 21 points and 14 rebounds – her fourth-straight double-double. The reigning Southern Conference Player of the Week was as good as advertised, going 7-for-9 at the charity stripe while pulling down seven offensive rebounds. Freshman forward Jade Scaife (Ft. Washington, Md./Archbishop Spalding) picked up the first double-figure scoring effort of her young career, netting 12 points, while sophomore guard Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) added 10 points and went 5-for-5 from the foul line.
Taking the team season lead in assists was freshman guard Bailey Williams (Harrisonburg, Va./Spotswood) who dropped seven dimes in the contest. She now has 21 helpers in six contests for an average of 3.5 per game.
VCU rung up a 9-0 lead to start the game and would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the afternoon. Junior guard Jarae Savage (Marietta, Ga./North Cobb) and Stevenson scored consecutive layups to make the score 9-4 at the 16:10 mark but a jumper by Zakia Williams put the score at 11-4 entering the first official timeout. The Rams quickly pushed their advantage into double figures and pushed the lead all the way to 27 points at 41-14 on a Keira Robinson jumper with 5:56 remaining in the half. Freshman guard Shanese Harris (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) would knock down a free throw with 19 seconds left in the period as the score settled at 50-26 heading into halftime.
Stevenson paced UNCG with eight points and eight rebounds in the first 20 minutes while Isis Thorpe led VCU with 15 points and four boards. The Rams hit 57 percent from the field (20-of-35) – including a 7-of-10 performance from three-point range. The Spartans shot just 28 percent from the field (9-of-32) and were 2-of-9 from deep.
UNCG fought back at the beginning of the second half, scoring seven of the first 10 points of the stanza to pull within 53-33 at the 17:57 mark. A layup by Stevenson brought the Blue and Gold even closer with 12:22 remaining as the Spartans sliced the deficit to 17 points. After VCU extended the lead back to 21 at 70-49, Mason completed a three-point play and Stevenson dropped in a layup to make the score 70-54 with 9:25 on the clock.
That would be as close as UNCG would come the rest of the way, however, as the Rams out-scored the Spartans 25-18 the rest of the way to account for the final margin.
UNCG returns to action Sunday, Dec. 1, in the third game of a seven-contest homestand hosting Triad rival High Point. Tipoff from Fleming Gymnasium is slated for 2 p.m.
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