Spartans put three in double figures to down Furman, 61-54
GREENVILLE, SC – Lakiah Hyson scored a game-high 17 points to pace three Spartans in double figures as UNC Greensboro beat Furman on Saturday, 61-54.
Hyson scored 11 of her points after halftime as the Spartans (11-16, 8-10 Southern Conference) weathered several Furman runs to hang on for the win. Monique Floyd finished with 15 points for UNCG, while Amanda Leigh added 11 as the Spartans improved to 4-1 in their last five games.
Lee Stephens scored 11 points to lead the Paladins (11-16, 5-13 SoCon), who also got 10 points from Sarah Baker.
After the Paladins took a 52-51 lead on a Shana Booker free throw with 4:09 to play, Hyson hit a 3-pointer from the left side to put UNCG on top for good. Furman turned the ball over off the ensuing inbounds play, and Hyson was fouled on the Spartans' next possession.
She went to the free throw line and knocked down both attempts, giving the Spartans a four-point lead with just over three minutes to play.
Katie Johnson answered with a layup on the other end to make it a one-possession game again, but Gini Grimlsey's 3 with 42 seconds left was a back-breaker for the Paladins.
Furman couldn't get a shot to drop on its next possession and was forced to foul, and Hyson drained two more foul shots in the final 27 seconds to ice the game.
The win avenged an overtime loss to the Paladins in Greensboro in January.
UNCG led by as many as 10 in the first half and held a 26-16 lead with 2:23 left before intermission. Furman would cut into its deficit, however, as Stephens' 3-pointer with 0.8 before the half capped a 7-0 Paladins run.
Floyd scored 10 of her 15 points in the first half for UNCG, scoring eight straight for the Spartans in an 11-4 that saw UNCG open up a seven-point lead. Floyd, a sophomore, also hit her first career 3 in the run, banking in a shot from the top of the key as the shot clock expired.
The Paladins kept things close in the second half, never letting UNCG pull away. After Floyd's jumper made it 43-35 in the Spartans' favor, Johnson converted a three-point play and Kelly O'Connor hit a 3 to get Furman back within two.
The Spartans stretched their lead back to eight, again on a Floyd layup that made it 49-41, but Furman answered with a 10-0 run to take its first lead since a 10-9 advantage in the opening half.
Hyson's pair of free throws tied it at 51, but Booker hit the first of a two-shot foul to put Furman back on top. That was when Hyson answered with her 3 and the Spartans pulled away.
"It was a hard-fought game," UNCG head coach Lynne Agee said. "Of course, when we played them at home, they took us into overtime, and we should have won that game. We thought had control of it, but we got surprised and they beat us. Coming in here, our mentality was payback. We let one get away, so we wanted to be sure we could at least even the score.
"I thought we did a good job gutting it out. We had great composure. We led the majority of the game until about the four-minute mark, and then we had our senior and our junior step up big. Gini hit a big 3-pointer and Hyson hit a big 3. We also had to close it at the free throw line, and thank goodness, we made the ones we needed to make to win. It's a big win. Any win this time of the year, when it's long and hard and everybody's exhausted, is a big win, and it was for us today."
UNCG returns home for a two-game homestand to end the regular season and will host Appalachian State at 7 p.m. Monday.
NOTES: Agne Girstautaite's blocked shot with 3:20 left in the first half was the Spartans' 113th of the season, tying the school record set last year. It also kept alive UNCG's streak of consecutive games with a blocked shot, which now stands at 75. ... Hyson did not record a steal in the contest, snapping a career-best string of 26 games with at least one theft for the junior.
UNC GREENSBORO 61, FURMAN 54
UNC GREENSBORO (11-16, 8-10SoCon)
Lakiah Hyson 4-12 7-11 17; Monique Floyd 6-8 2-4 15; Amanda Leigh 4-7 0-0 11; Gini Grimsley 3-9 0-0 7; TaShama Banner 2-4 0-0 4; Kendra Smith 1-3 1-2 3; Dee Corbett 0-2 2-4 2; Agne Girstautaite 1-5 0-0 2; Ashley Mullins 0-2 0-0 0; Sarah Folwell 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 21-54 12-21 61.
FURMAN (11-16, 5-13SoCon)
Lee Stephens 4-16 0-0 11; Sarah Baker 4-9 0-0 10; Shana Booker 3-3 3-4 9; Katie Johnson 4-10 1-1 9; Kelly O'Connor 3-7 0-0 7; M Liebschwager 1-16 0-0 3; Candace Dowell 1-2 0-0 3; Susan Troutman 1-3 0-0 2; Kendra Berry 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-67 4-5 54.
UNC Greensboro................ 26
35 - 61
Furman........................ 23 31 - 54
3-point goals--UNC Greensboro 7-14 (Amanda Leigh 3-5; Lakiah Hyson 2-3; Gini Grimsley 1-3; Monique Floyd 1-1; Ashley Mullins 0-1; TaShama Banner 0-1), Furman 8-25 (Lee Stephens 3-7; Sarah Baker 2-4; Kelly O'Connor 1-3; M Liebschwager 1-9; Candace Dowell 1-2). Fouled out--UNC Greensboro-None, Furman-Candace Dowell. Rebounds--UNC Greensboro 38 (Gini Grimsley 9), Furman 44 (Sarah Baker 9; Katie Johnson 9). Assists--UNC Greensboro 14 (Monique Floyd 4), Furman 14 (M Liebschwager 7). Total fouls--UNC Greensboro 11, Furman 16. Technical fouls--UNC Greensboro-None, Furman-None. A-367
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