GREENSBORO, NC – Senior Gini Grimsley had 19 points and classmate Ashley Mullins scored a career-high 14 off the bench as UNC Greensboro picked up its fifth win in six games Monday, topping Appalachian State, 74-60.
The Spartans (12-16, 9-10 Southern Conference) also got 16 points from sophomore Monique Floyd and shot a season-best 52.9 percent from the floor (27-for-51) in avenging a January loss to the Mountaineers (7-21, 6-13 SoCon).
Brittany Mixon notched the game's lone double-double for ASU with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Sade Means scored 15 off the bench. Sam Ramirez finished with 13 points as the Apps also had three players in double digits.
UNCG led for most of the game, but App kept it close in the first half. Canesha Edwards' layup with 7:13 left in the opening frame made it a four-point game at 25-21, but Floyd's three-point play – one of her two on the night – ignited a 9-0 run that put the Spartans up 13 and in control for good.
A pair of Brittney Spencer free throws with 1:30 to go in the opening half got the Mountaineers back within nine points at 36-27, but Grimsley answered with a 3-pointer on UNCG's next possession to put the Spartans' lead back in double figures to stay.
UNCG led by 12 at the half, despite being outrebounded by 10, 21-11. Grimsley had 15 at the half and Floyd had 11, marking just the second time this season that the Spartans had two players in double figures by halftime. The other time was at Davidson on Feb. 9.
"It was amazing," Grimsley said. "The first couple of shots I took, they felt kind of short, but they went in. So, I figured, if that's how it's going to be, I was going to let it fly."
Edwards' layup to open the second frame pulled Appalachian State to within 10 at 39-29, but UNCG responded with a 13-3 run to make it a 20-point spread with 13:41 to play.
Mullins' 3 with 10:12 gave UNCG its largest lead of the game at 59-38 and was one of three triples on the night for the Honaker, VA, senior. Mullins was 5-for-5 from the field and 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, with her only miss in the game coming from the free throw line, where she was 1-for-2.
Appalachian State never quit, trimming a 19-point deficit to 13 in about three minutes late in the game. Means hit a pair of 3-pointers to bookend an 8-2 run that pulled the Apps within a baker's dozen at 69-56 with 2:17 left, but that was as close as ASU would get.
"We didn't rebound well in the first half,"
UNCG coach Lynne Agee said. "We were in control of the
ballgame, but they can just flat-out shoot from like 30 feet, all
those little guards. So I knew the game was not over. We maintained
our composure, we handled their traps a little bit, and it got
interesting, but when Ashley Mullins came off the bench on fire,
that gave us some breathing room and relaxed everybody."
In addition to inching closer to a possible 6 seed in the upcoming SoCon tournament, UNCG made some history Monday night, matching the school record with nine blocked shots and setting a new single-season record with 122 on the season. Sophomore Agne Girstautaite had six blocks in the game, falling one short of the individual school record, and moved into second place on UNCG's single-season list as her total for the year moved to 47.
Grimsley just missed her second career double-double, finishing with nine rebounds. She has had at least nine in five of the last seven games.
Floyd was in double digits for the third straight game, and finished a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Floyd came into the game shooting just 58.8 percent from the line on the season.
"Going back to high school days, we both used to have to do it all," Floyd said of her combined effort with Grimsley, with whom she played at Fairmont High in Fairmont, NC. "Our shots were falling and we just kept going at it, hustling and trying to get the shots to fall to get the victory."
The Spartans will close the regular season on Friday at 7 p.m. against Elon. In addition to going for the season sweep of the Phoenix, UNCG will be trying to even its SoCon record at 10-10 and lock up the sixth seed in the league tournament. The Spartans currently sit in seventh place, one game behind Davidson with one game to play for both teams.
UNC GREENSBORO 74, APPALACHIAN STATE 60
APPALACHIAN STATE (7-21, 6-13 SoCon)
Sade Means 5-7 3-5 15; Sam Ramirez 6-14 0-0 13; Brittany Mixon 3-10 5-6 11; Brittney Spencer 3-10 2-2 8; Canesha Edwards 3-8 0-0 6; Catherine Williams 1-3 3-6 5; Karina Mill 1-2 0-0 2; Charmene Means 0-1 0-0 0; Frances Hernandez 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-55 13-19 60.
UNC GREENSBORO (12-16,9-10 SoCon)
Gini Grimsley 8-14 1-2 19; Monique Floyd 4-6 8-8 16; Ashley Mullins 5-5 1-2 14; Agne Girstautaite 4-8 0-1 8; Lakiah Hyson 3-5 2-4 8; Amanda Leigh 2-7 2-2 7; Kendra Smith 1-4 0-2 2; Dee Corbett 0-2 0-0 0; TaShama Banner 0-0 0-0 0; Sarah Folwell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-51 14-21 74.
Appalachian State............. 27
33 - 60
UNC Greensboro................ 39 35 - 74
3-point goals--Appalachian State 3-10 (Sade Means 2-2; Sam Ramirez 1-7; Brittney Spencer 0-1), UNC Greensboro 6-13 (Ashley Mullins 3-3; Gini Grimsley 2-5; Amanda Leigh 1-4; Lakiah Hyson 0-1). Fouled out—Appalachian State-Sade Means; Canesha Edwards, UNC Greensboro-None. Rebounds--Appalachian State 38 (Brittany Mixon 10), UNC Greensboro 27 (Gini Grimsley 9). Assists--Appalachian State 12 (Sam Ramirez 4; Sade Means 4), UNC Greensboro 17 (Monique Floyd 5; Lakiah Hyson 5). Total fouls--Appalachian State 18, UNC Greensboro 14. Technical fouls—Appalachian State-None, UNC Greensboro-None. A-229
- UNCG -