GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro's Monique Floyd hit a pair of free throws with 26.6 seconds left in regulation to give the Spartans a 53-52 lead, but Davidson's Mandy Halbersleben hit a free throw of her own with 5.1 seconds left to force overtime and the Wildcats pulled away in the extra frame to down UNCG on Monday, 61-55.
Agne Girstautaite scored a career-high 12 points to go with eight rebounds for UNCG, while preseason Southern Conference player of the year Mercedes Robinson had 17 points and 17 rebounds to pace the Wildcats.
The Spartans (6-9, 3-3 Southern Conference) came tantalizingly close to knocking off the SoCon leaders, as Floyd's free throws snapped a nearly four-minute scoring drought by both teams. Lakiah Hyson's 3-pointer with 4:31 to play gave UNCG a 51-50 lead, but Julia Paquette's layup put the Wildcats (7-8, 6-0 SoCon) back on top with 4:12 to play.
Neither team could get a shot to fall for the rest of regulation, but Floyd was fouled away from the basket with just a shade under 27 seconds to play in the second half and knocked down both ends her one-and-one to put the Spartans back on top. The celebration was short-lived, however, as Halbersleben was fouled going up for a shot on the other end and went to the free throw line with the game in the balance.
Halbersleben missed the front end to keep the Spartans' upset hopes alive, but she knocked down the second to tie the score. UNCG got the ball back with five seconds to make something happen, but couldn't get off a shot as time expired.
The Wildcats got the scoring started in overtime, as Alex Thompson drained a 3 with 3:51 to play that put Davidson on top for good. Amanda Leigh promptly answered with a baseline jumper to draw UNCG within one at 56-55, but the Spartans would get no closer.
Robinson hit a jumper with 1:08 to play to make it a three-point lead, and Ashley Lax hit the back end of a two-shot foul to make it a two-possession game with 24.6 seconds left.
UNCG had a couple of chances to inch closer on its next possession, but Floyd's layup and Leigh's 3-point attempt both went begging and the Spartans turned the ball over with three seconds left to seal it. Thompson added a pair of free throws with 1.5 seconds left for the final margin.
The Spartans trailed for nearly all of the first half, but shot 45.8 percent from the floor to keep it close. After being down by as many as 10 at 18-8, UNCG put together a 16-6 run to tie it at 24 with under a minute to play on TaShama Banner's steal and Floyd's stickback layup. Robinson, who had been held scoreless to that point, got a jumper to fall with 11 seconds before intermission to put the Wildcats on top at the half, 26-24.
A quick pair of layups from Girstautaite to open the second half gave UNCG its first lead of the day at 28-26 before Robinson tied with a jumper. The teams would proceed to trade the lead for the rest of regulation, with neither side leading by more than four until overtime.
The game featured 10 lead changes and 13 ties.
The Spartans matched the school record for blocked shots in a game with nine, with Hyson and Ashley Mullins swatting two shots each and Gini Grimsley, Girstautiate, Floyd, Leigh and Banner getting one each.
"They confused us with our switches and we didn't react quickly enough," UNCG coach Lynne Agee said of the game. "We wasted too much time trying to figure out what they were doing.
"We couldn't stop Mercedes. She beat us off the dribble, we go to the zone, she's in the middle of the paint. She's just a hard matchup for us at the 3-spot, no question. I'm disappointed we didn't come to play."
The loss was UNCG's third straight in SoCon play and fourth straight overall. The Spartans will attempt to snap both streaks on Saturday when they host Furman at 3 p.m. in Fleming Gym.
DAVIDSON 61, UNC GREENSBORO 55
DAVIDSON (7-8, 6-0 SoCon)
Mercedes Robinson 8-21 1-1 17; Julia Paquette 6-9 0-0 12; Alex Thompson 3-9 2-2 10; Ashley Lax 3-13 1-2 8; Mandy Halbersleben 3-8 2-4 8; Kristen Johnsen 2-2 0-1 4; Monica Laune 0-3 2-2 2; Amanda Ottaway 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-66 8-12 61.
UNC GREENSBORO (6-9, 3-3 SoCon)
Agne Girstautaite 6-7 0-2 12; Lakiah Hyson 4-6 0-0 9; Amanda Leigh 3-12 0-0 8; Monique Floyd 2-9 3-6 7; TaShama Banner 2-4 2-2 6; Gini Grimsley 3-15 0-0 6; Ashley Mullins 2-4 0-1 5; Dee Corbett 1-2 0-0 2; Sarah Folwell 0-0 0-0 0; Kendra Smith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-59 5-11 55.
27 8 - 61
UNC Greensboro................ 24 29 2 - 55
3-point goals--Davidson 3-16 (Alex Thompson 2-6; Ashley Lax 1-5; Monica Laune 0-2; Mercedes Robinson 0-3), UNC Greensboro 4-20 (Amanda Leigh 2-8; Lakiah Hyson 1-2; Ashley Mullins 1-3; Gini Grimsley 0-6; Monique Floyd 0-1). Fouled out--Davidson-None, UNC Greensboro-None. Rebounds--Davidson 43 (Mercedes Robinson 17), UNC Greensboro 41 (Agne Girstautaite 8). Assists--Davidson 8 (Mandy Halbersleben 6), UNC Greensboro 13 (Monique Floyd 5). Total fouls--Davidson 14, UNC Greensboro 14. Technical fouls--Davidson-None, UNC Greensboro-None. A-108
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