BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The UNCG women’s basketball team dropped the first of two games to close the regular season Friday evening, falling to Samford 68-57 inside the Pete Hanna Center.
Sophomore guard Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) scored a team-high 21 points while junior guard Jarae Savage (Marietta, Ga./North Cobb) fell one point shy of her career high with 15. Savage also pulled down a team-best nine rebounds. Kassidy Blevins netted a game-best 21 to lead the Bulldogs.
Samford (10-18, 8-9 SoCon) out-shot UNCG (7-21, 3-14 SoCon) 51.1-36.6 from the field, hitting 23 of 45 and limiting the Spartans to 19 of 52 efficiency. The Bulldogs also hit nine three-point field goals to help their cause. The Blue and Gold ended up with the advantage in rebounding 32-29 and forced 20 Samford turnovers while coughing up the ball 17 times in comparison.
The Spartans got off to a good start in the contest, ringing up a 6-2 lead. Samford would tie the contest at six thanks to a three by Blevins and would eventually take a 10-6 edge with 11:59 remaining in the half on a bucket by Hannah Nichols.
The Bulldogs would go ahead by as much as 17-12 as the period wore down, but the Spartans went on a 9-5 run down to the 2:36 mark to pull within 22-21. Samford would settle for a 28-24 lead at the break as Blevins nailed a triple at the buzzer.
Savage and Mason paced UNCG with seven points each in the first half while Blevins netted 11 for Samford. Senior forward Janae' Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) and freshman forward Jade Scaife (Fort Washington, Md./Archbishop Spalding) corralled four rebounds apiece. The Spartans shot just 33.3 percent from the field while Samford hit 47.6 percent of its attempts.
The Spartans began the second half with five-straight points to pull ahead by one at 29-28, but the Bulldogs recovered and went on an 18-5 surge to move ahead by double digits, 46-34. UNCG cut the lead under double digits on a couple of occasions, but could not claw any closer the rest of the way.
The Blue and Gold wraps up the regular season Sunday with a 2 p.m. contest at Chattanooga.