GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG women’s basketball team shot just 24 percent from the floor Monday night as Samford downed the Spartans 65-52 in a Southern Conference game inside Fleming Gymnasium. The Bulldogs improve to 3-7 overall and 1-1 in league play while the Blue and Gold drops to 4-6 and 0-2.
Samford had no trouble getting the shots it wanted, knocking down 25 of 44 attempts to finish the contest at 56.8 percent. The Bulldogs were just 10-of-21 from the free throw line (47.6 percent) but that did not ultimately factor into the final margin. The Spartans out-rebounded the visitors 39-37 and recorded 17 offensive rebounds, but the cold shooting performance was too much to overcome for homestanding UNCG. Both teams hit five three-point field goals.
Senior guard Breonna Patterson (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) and sophomore guard Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) paced the Spartans with nine points apiece while junior guard Jarae Savage (Marietta, Ga./North Cobb) led the Blue and Gold with eight rebounds – five of the offensive glass. Samford’s Shelby Campbell led all scorers with 16 points.
A jumper by Keke Fletcher capped a quick 6-1 Samford run to start the game before freshman guard Bailey Williams (Harrisonburg, Va./Spotswood) dropped in a layup to make it a three-point game. After the Bulldogs later built a 9-3 edge, freshman guard Shanese Harris (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) hit a three-point field goal to make it 9-6 with 13:03 to go in the half.
Both teams struggled to find the basket for much of the first half, but Samford eventually heated up and forged ahead 24-13 on a three-pointer at the 6:10 mark. The first half saw just two points scored by UNCG in the final 3:43 as Samford took a 28-22 lead into the half.
Williams and senior forward Janae' Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) both netted seven points in the first 20 minutes while Lydia McGee scored seven for the Bulldogs. Samford had a 17-16 edge on the glass as every Bulldog player recorded at least one board in the stanza. Harris had four rebounds for UNCG. Samford shot 54.5 percent, hitting 12 of 22 from the field while the Spartans checked in at just 28.6 percent (8-of-28).
The Blue and Gold stayed within striking distance as the second half commenced, trailing just 36-31 after a jumper by freshman forward Jade Scaife (Ft. Washington, Md./Archbishop Spalding) with 13:57 left in the game. UNCG pulled even closer on a free throw by Scaife which made the score 41-38 at the 9:43 mark, but a quick 9-0 run by the Bulldogs took the wind out of the Spartan sails.
UNCG would draw within six at 55-49 on a free throw by Mason with 3:58 to play. However, Samford ended the game on a 10-3 run to secure its first conference victory of the season.
The Blue and Gold ends its seven-game homestand this Sunday, Dec. 22, against St. Bonaventure. The Spartans and Bonnies will tip at noon inside Fleming Gymnasium.
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