GREENSBORO, NC – Junior Lakiah Hyson and sophomore Monique Floyd combined for 37 points as UNC Greensboro put together one of its best games of the season in dropping Wofford on Monday, 68-56, to snap a seven-game losing streak.
Hyson missed her career highs by one each with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Floyd matched her career high with 18 points and equaled her season high with eight boards of her own as both players flirted with double-doubles. The duo also set new career highs with six steals each.
"They're just doing a great job for us," UNCG coach Lynne Agee said. "They've been shackled with the point guard position; they're 2-guards. But they're trying to do the best they can. It's kind of a double whammy with them. Mo is different, she's very serious and very controlled with the ball, and Hyson's going to try to make something happen and go to it. But they're both really trying to step up and doing a terrific job. I'm very proud of them."
Sophomore Kendra Smith also set a new career mark with a game-high 10 rebounds for the Spartans, who matched their overall and Southern Conference win totals from last season in moving to 7-12, 4-6.
Natalie Gramblin led Wofford (3-14, 1-8 SoCon) with 13 points, while Maddie Helms added 12.
The Spartans pulled down a season-best 58 rebounds, their best total since grabbing 60 against Georgia Southern on Jan. 8, 2005. UNCG also had 20 steals in the game, its best effort since coming away with 27 thefts vs. UNC Wilmington on Nov. 12, 2006.
Nursing just a six-point lead coming out of halftime, the Spartans set the tone for the rest of the game early in the second half, getting four points from Floyd and three each from Hyson and Agne Girstautaite in an 10-0 run out of the break.
The Terriers would hang around, though, working their deficit back to nine at 51-42 with 9:22 to play. UNCG's lead would hover in the 9- to12-point range for the next eight minutes, but 3-pointers from Gramblin and Helms made it a six-point game at 60-54 with 1:18 left on the clock.
UNCG quickly pumped its lead back to double digits, getting an Amanda Leigh jumper on its next possession and a Smith steal that led to a Floyd layup to make it 64-54 with 43 seconds left.
A pair of Floyd free throws with 27.1 seconds left put the Spartans up by a dozen before Liz Miller's jumper cut it back to 10 with 19.2 to play. Hyson then went to the free throw line for a pair, sinking both to lock up the win.
Twelve of Floyd's points in the game came in the second half, while Hyson had the hot hand early, going into halftime with 14 to her credit.
The Spartans opened up an eight-point lead in the first half, turning a 19-18 Wofford advantage into a 27-19 UNCG lead with a 9-0 run. After a Helms 3 gave the Terriers their first lead since an early 6-3 advantage, Hyson sandwiched a pair of layups around a Leigh free throw. Leigh and TaShama Banner added layups off consecutive Wofford turnovers to seemingly put the Spartans comfortably ahead.
The Terriers would find the answer, however, as Miller rattled off five straight Wofford points and Gramblin and Kathlyn Varno had two points each to cap a 9-2 Terriers run that cut UNCG's lead to one at 29-28 with about two minutes to play. The Spartans would close the half on a high note, though, getting a Hyson layup and then a Gini Grimsley 3-pointer just before the buzzer to go into the locker room with a 34-28 lead.
"We just played our game today, which we hadn't been doing for the last couple of games," Hyson said. "Today, I think we really stepped up and played how you know we can play."
Helped by their 20 steals, the Spartans forced 29 Wofford turnovers, their best effort of the season. UNCG had not forced that many turnovers since getting 33 against Chowan on Dec. 28, 2007.
The Spartans filled up the stat sheet from all over the roster, as Smith grabbed a career-best three steals to go with her 10 boards. Grimsley had three blocked shots and Leigh had two, both matching their career highs.
"I'm thrilled that we got a win," Agee said. "We've really been struggling, been in lots of close games and couldn't get over the hump. At one point there, we had a 16-point lead and we were really running and pushing the ball well. I thought we did OK down the stretch. We lost our concentration there for a minute or two, but we regrouped and closed it pretty well."
UNCG will get back on the road this weekend looking to make up more ground in the SoCon standings, taking on Georgia Southern on Saturday at 3 p.m. before facing College of Charleston next Monday at 7 p.m. The Spartans beat both teams earlier in the season in Greensboro.
UNC GREENSBORO 68, WOFFORD 56
WOFFORD (3-14, 1-8 SoCon)
Natalie Gramblin 5-10 2-2 13; Maddie Helms 4-6 0-0 12; Mahagony Williams 4-9 0-0 8; Liz Miller 2-7 4-6 8; Ashley Kroker 2-4 0-0 5; Kathlyn Varno 1-7 2-2 4; Summer Nichols 1-4 1-2 3; Kate Dempsey 1-4 1-4 3; April Moorhouse 0-0 0-0 0; Laura Depko 0-0 0-0 0; Kelly Dwyer 0-7 0-1 0; Kristin Bradley 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-59 10-17 56.
UNC GREENSBORO (7-12, 4-6 SoCon)
Lakiah Hyson 7-12 3-4 19; Monique Floyd 6-11 6-11 18; Amanda Leigh 3-13 1-2 8; Gini Grimsley 3-20 0-0 7; Kendra Smith 1-5 3-4 5; Agne Girstautaite 2-6 1-2 5; Dee Corbett 0-4 4-6 4; TaShama Banner 1-3 0-1 2; Ashley Mullins 0-2 0-0 0; Sarah Folwell 0-0 0-0 0; Jazz Weaver 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-76 18-30 68.
28 - 56
UNC Greensboro................ 34 34 - 68
3-point goals--Wofford 6-15 (Maddie Helms 4-6; Ashley Kroker 1-2; Natalie Gramblin 1-1; Kelly Dwyer 0-3; Kristin Bradley 0-1; Liz Miller 0-2), UNC Greensboro 4-14 (Lakiah Hyson 2-4; Amanda Leigh 1-8; Gini Grimsley 1-2). Fouled out--Wofford-None, UNC Greensboro-None. Rebounds--Wofford 46 (Liz Miller 9), UNC Greensboro 58 (Kendra Smith 10). Assists--Wofford 10 (Liz Miller 4), UNC Greensboro 11 (Lakiah Hyson 3). Total fouls--Wofford 19, UNC Greensboro 14. Technical fouls--Wofford-None, UNC Greensboro-None. A-235
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