GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro had four players in doubles figures as they defeated Southern conference foe and backyard rival, Elon 88-40 in women’s basketball action in Fleming Gymnasium Saturday afternoon.
The 48-point win is the Spartans' largest margin of victory this season and the largest for UNCG in a Southern Conference game since joining the league 10 years ago. The margin was the largest for UNCG since January 4, 1997 when UNCG beat South Carolina State 99-42, and was second only to that game in terms of most lopsided win in UNCG's Division I era (since 1991).
Elon's 40 points were the fourth-fewest UNCG has allowed in the Division I era. Almost a year to the day ago, UNCG held Elon to just 35 points to set a Division I era record for fewest points allowed on January 21, 2006.
UNCG (12-7, 5-3) was led by senior guard Jasmine Byrd who had 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor, including 2-of-4 from behind the arc. Irene Otamiri was 5-of-5 from the floor for 10 points, while Meghan Chamberlain and Brittany Frazier pulled down seven rebounds each.
“This was our picture perfect game,” head coach Lynne Agee said. "This is the way that we should play each time we step on the floor. I was very pleased with the effort that our team gave on both ends of the court. We tried to change up our defense a lot to keep Elon on their toes and to play that way we needed to have a lot of effort, which is what we had today.”
Elon (7-11, 2-6) was led by Rachel Hester who had 10 points and Shamica Spears who had 10 rebounds.
Elon scored the first bucket of the second half but the Spartans responded with a bucket in the paint by KaLeah Latham to extend the UNCG lead to 53-23 with just under 18 minutes left in the half. The Spartans were unstoppable through the game's first four minutes, extending the lead to 64-23. Elon was able to score a few buckets to cut the lead to 66-28 at the 11:44 mark. UNCG, however, continued to take it to the Phoneix, outscoring them 42-20 through the half en route to their fifth conference victory.
The Spartans opened the game with a jumper by Byrd through the right side on UNCG’s first possession. Elon countered with a bucket to even the score at 2-2 after a minute of play but it was all UNCG from that point. Back-to-back buckets by Kristen Boone gave UNCG an early lead, but it was steals on three consecutive possessions that gave UNCG a 15-6 lead at the 14:50 mark.
Elon came out and hit a bucket in the paint after a media timeout, cutting the lead to 35-18. The Phoneix were able to get the ball back by forcing a Spartan turnover, but Boone’s quick hands forced Elon into a turnover which the Spartans were able to convert on the other end that play coupled with a three-pointer through the right side by Byrd, pushed the lead to 22-8.
The Spartans continued to apply the defensive pressure holding Elon to three field goals in the final eight minutes of the half and forcing them into 17 turnovers. Buckets by Byrd and Otamiri and free throws by Jasmine Dixon pushed the UNCG lead to 34-16 with just under four minutes left to play in the half. UNCG went on a 12-4 run to close the half and take a 40-26 lead into the lockeroom.
In the opening half, UNCG shot 17-of-33 from the floor and was 2-of-4 from behind the arc. Otamiri was 4-of-4 from the floor and Byrd was 4-of-5 from the floor. UNCG outrebounded Elon 23-16 and picked up seven assists.
The Spartans hit the road next, traveling to Spartanburg, SC to take on Wofford. Tip is set for 7 pm.
UNCG 88 ELON 40
ELON (7-11, 2-6)
HESTER, Rachel 1-11 7-8 10; BUMBREY, Tierra 3-4 0-0 7; DAVIS, Tiffany 1-8 4-4 6; SPEARS, Shamica 2-4 2-5 6; ALLISON, Nicole 2-8 0-0 4; WALL, Amber 0-4 3-6 3; MOORE, Shashonna 1-3 0-0 2; KING, Nikko 1-4 0-0 2; WHIDDEN, Katie 0-3 0-0 0; COTTON, Urysla 0-3 0-0 0; WILLIAMS, Maxine 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-52 16-23 40.
UNCG (12-7, 5-3)
Byrd, Jasmine 7-10 0-0 16; Latham, KaLeah 5-10 0-1 11; Dixon, Jasmine 2-3 6-8 10; Otamiri, Irene 5-5 0-0 10; Chamberlain, Meghan 3-5 2-2 8; Frazier, Brittany 4-10 0-0 8; Boone, Kristen 3-6 1-1 7; Grimsley, Gini 2-6 2-2 7; Brooks, Kemena 1-6 3-4 5; Hyson, Lakiah 2-3 0-1 4; Ling, Ashley 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 35-65 14-19 88.
Halftime: UNCG 46-20 3-point goals--ELON 2-12 (HESTER, Rachel 1-7; BUMBREY, Tierra 1-2; ALLISON, Nicole 0-3), UNCG 4-10 (Byrd, Jasmine 2-4; Latham, Kaleah 1-2; Grimsley, Gini 1-1; Boone, Kristen 0-1; Brooks, Kemena 0-2). Fouled out--ELON-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--ELON 36 (SPEARS, Shamica 10), UNCG 43 (Frazier, Brittany 7; Chamberlain, Meghan 7). Assists--ELON 3 (WHIDDEN, Katie 1; DAVIS, Tiffany 1; KING, Nikko 1), UNCG 24 (Boone, Kristen 10). Total fouls--ELON 18, UNCG 20. Technical fouls--ELON-None, UNCG-None. A-287
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