GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG women’s basketball team fought hard Saturday afternoon but the Spartans suffered a 77-64 loss to Southern Conference foe Furman at Fleming Gymnasium. The game was played on UNCG Hall of Fame weekend, which included the induction of the 1987-88 UNCG women’s basketball team that was honored at halftime of the game.
Sophomore guard Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Carter) paced three Spartans in double figures with a team-high 16 points, 15 of which came in the second half. Mason connected on just 4-of-14 from the field but hit 7-of-10 from the free throw line. Senior Janae’ Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) fell just shy of a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds while freshman Bailey Williams (Harrisonburg, Va./Spotswood) added 10 points before fouling out.
The Spartans connected on 32.8 percent (22-of-67) from the field and just 27.3 percent (3-of-11) from three-point land in the loss. UNCG was strong on the defensive end, limiting the Paladins to 39.4 percent (26-of-66) shooting from the field and 33.3 percent (5-of-15) from long range but Furman hit 20-of-24 (83.3%) from the free throw line. Holli Wilkins led the Paladins with a game-high 21 points as she was 9-of-19 from the field while Whitney Bunn chipped in 13 points off the bench.
Furman (15-11, 9-6 SoCon) came out quickly, opening to a 13-5 run just under four minutes into the game as Allison Beasely hit a pair of three-pointers. The Spartans settled in and notched a 8-2 run to trim the deficit to 19-17. Williams began the spurt with a three-pointer while Jessica Collins (Raleigh, N.C./Eckerd College) scored five points, including an old-fashioned three-point play.
Furman responded with seven straight points to extend the lead back to nine at 26-17 and took that same nine-point lead into the break at 37-28. The Spartans connected on just 32.4 percent (12-of-37) from the field and hit just 1-of-5 from distance in the opening half. The Paladins conversely hit 43.2 percent (16-of-37) from the field and 3-of-9 (33.3%) from distance in the first 20 minutes.
UNCG (6-20, 2-13 SoCon) came out in the second half and took the momentum over quickly, posting a 14-4 run to narrow the gap to just one point at 46-45. Mason was the catalyst in the run, scoring eight points, including a conventional three-point and an old-fashioned three-point play while Williams added another long range shot.
The Spartans kept battling and remained within two possessions for most of the second half. UNCG narrowed the gap back to three points on two occasions, the first after a 5-0 run to pull within 60-57 as Mason had another three-point play and Williams hit a pair of free throws. The Spartans last three-point deficit was at 63-60 when Mason hit one of two free throws, but the Paladins sealed the victory with eight straight points to extend the lead to double figures with just over a minute to play. Bunn was the spark in the final stretch, scoring five points with her first three coming off a driving basket and a free throw for the three-point play.
The Spartans posted seven blocked shots in the loss with three different players recorded at least two apiece in India Timpton (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park), Whitney Coleman (Cary, N.C./Cary) and Mariah Wilson (Atlanta, Ga./North Atlanta).
UNCG wraps up the home portion of the regular season Monday night as it hosts Wofford at 7 p.m. at Fleming Gymnasium. Prior to the game, the Spartans will recognize senior Janae’ Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) in a senior day ceremony.
- UNCG -