UNCG holds on for 59-58 win over Charleston
CHARLESTON, SC – UNC Greensboro held on for a 59-58 victory over College of Charleston in Southern Conference women’s basketball action Monday night at Kresse Arena.
UNCG held a three point, 59-56, lead in the closing seconds of regulation when Charleston’s Anne Hunter was fouled in the process of taking a 3-point shot. Hunter calmly buried the first two shots. The Spartans called a timeout to ice the shooter and it worked as Hunter’s third attempt rattled off the rim and the clock ran out with UNCG’s KaLeah Latham holding tightly to the rebound.
Junior forward Irene Otamiri scored a team-high 12 points for UNCG (13-11, 9-6 SoCon). Sophomore guard Kemena Brooks scored in double figures for the sixth time in the last seven games with 10 points. Latham added nine, while sophomore center Meghan Chamberlain and sophomore guard Kristen Boone each tossed in eight points respectively.
Jade Hughes paced Charleston (10-13, 7-8 SoCon) with 12 points, while Erika Smith added 10 points for the Cougars, who have now dropped three in a row.
Latham would give the Spartans a seemingly comfortable 12 point, 41-29, lead on a 3-pointer from the top of the arc at the 16:17 mark of the second half. The margin was quickly cut down to four, 47-43, after a 14-6 Cougar run, which was capped by a trey by Hughes.
Brooks and Otamiri drilled consecutive 3-pointers to put UNCG back up 10, 53-43, with 9:04 left in regulation, but six straight points by the home team made it a 53-49 affair with 6:54 to go. The Spartans would never give up the lead the rest of the way and led by as much as six points in the late stages of the game on an Otamiri jumper with 1:12 left. A Hughes’ trey with under a minute to play got Charleston within three, 59-56, setting up the drama at the end of the game by Hughes.
After Charleston opened the game with a 3-pointer by Hughes, UNCG ran off a 19-4 run to grab an early 19-7 lead by the 9:21 mark of the first half. Chamberlain scored five points in the spurt, while the Cougars went 8:26 without scoring to fuel the spurt for the Spartans.
Eight straight points by Charleston, capped by a Moye jumper at the 5:86 mark, cut the Cougars deficit to 19-15. The Spartans went back up 10, 31-21, on a fast-break layup by Brooks in the final minute of the first half, before UNCG went into halftime leading 32-23.
Charleston held a slim 42-41 rebounding advantage. UNCG shot 38.7 percent (23-for-63) from the field, while the Cougars shot 36.1 percent (22-for-61). The Spartans had a 15-9 lead in points off turnovers, but Charleston had a 14-7 advantage in second chance points.
UNCG returns home to host local and league-foe Elon on Saturday at Fleming Gym beginning at 2 pm. Meanwhile, Charleston steps out of conference and visits Savannah State on Wednesday at 7 pm.
GAME NOTES: UNCG led at the half for the 15th time this year and is 12-3 in those games... The Spartans now stand five blocks short of setting a new single-season team record... The two head coaches entered the game with a combined 52 years of experience and 988 career wins, UNCG’s Agee (532) and C of C’s Wilson (456)... Otamiri led UNCG in scoring for the third time this year... The Spartans are now 5-3 on the road in the conference... After turning the ball over 28 times on Saturday at Appalachian State, the Spartans had a mere 12 on Monday... UNCG won for just the fourth time in the last six years when scoring less than 60 points.
UNC GREENSBORO 59, COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON 58
UNC GREENSBORO (13-11, 9-6 SoCon)
OTAMIRI, Irene 5-10 0-0 12; BROOKS, Kemena 4-8 0-0 10; LATHAM, KaLeah 3-7 2-2 9; CHAMBERLAIN, Meghan 3-5 2-3 8; BOONE, Kristen 2-11 3-4 8; CURRENT, Ashley 3-5 0-0 6; DIXON, Jasmine 1-4 0-0 2; BYRD, Jasmine 1-9 0-0 2; LING, Ashley 1-1 0-0 2; GRIMSLEY, Gini 0-1 0-0 0; BLAIR, Caroline 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-63 7-9 59.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (10-13, 7-8 SoCon)
HUGHES, Jade 4-14 1-2 12; SMITH, Erika 4-8 2-2 10; IRICK, Erica 3-14 0-1 7; WILLIAMS, Christina 3-4 0-0 7; MOYE, Sarah 2-2 2-4 6; TALLEY, Marketta 2-7 2-2 6; CHAMBERS, Melissa 2-8 0-0 4; GREEN, Tiffany 1-1 0-0 2; WILLIAMS, Nikki 1-3 0-0 2; HUNTER, Anne 0-0 2-3 2. Totals 22-61 9-14 58.
Halftime: UNC Greensboro 32-23. 3-point goals-UNC Greensboro 6-17 (BROOKS, Kemena 2-3; OTAMIRI, Irene 2-4; LATHAM, KaLeah 1-2; BOONE, Kristen 1-3; BYRD, Jasmine 0-4; GRIMSLEY, Gini 0-1), Coll of Charleston 5-23 (HUGHES, Jade 3-9; IRICK, Erica 1-8; WILLIAMS, Christina 1-1; TALLEY, Marketta 0-5). Fouled out--UNC Greensboro-None, Coll of Charleston-None. Rebounds-UNC Greensboro 41 (OTAMIRI, Irene 7), Coll of Charleston 42 (SMITH, Erika 8). Assists-UNC Greensboro 13 (BOONE, Kristen 5), Coll of Charleston 10 (TALLEY, Marketta 6). Total fouls-UNC Greensboro 15, Coll of Charleston 15. A-326.
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