Late 3-pointer sinks UNCG at Samford
BIRMINGHAM, AL – Samford's Emily London hit a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left to snap a 41-all tie and Gini Grimsley's halfcourt heave as time expired was well short as UNC Greensboro fell to the Bulldogs on Monday, 44-41, for its first Southern Conference loss of the season.
Monique Floyd scored a team-high eight points and Agne Girstautaite had a career-high 11 rebounds for the Spartans (6-7, 3-1 SoCon), while Monica Maxwell and London shared game-high honors with 12 points each for the Bulldogs (8-3, 3-1 SoCon).
With the score tied and Samford holding the ball in the waning seconds, Maxwell tossed up the potential go-ahead 3, but it was off the mark. Megan Wilderotter came up with the big offensive rebound with about 20 seconds left, and Samford called its last timeout with 13 seconds left.
The Bulldogs came out of the timeout and got the ball to London just left of the top of the key, and the sophomore didn't disappoint, draining the go-ahead triple with less than two seconds left.
UNCG coach Lynne Agee called timeout to draw up a play, but Grimsley's desperation attempt was off the mark.
The loss was particularly disappointing because the Spartans had led for all but about three minutes in the second half to that point. UNCG held a 24-20 halftime lead, and saw its lead stretch to eight points at 28-20 when Girstautaite and Lakiah Hyson hit jumpers to open the second frame.
The Bulldogs got it to within two at 32-30 on a Karmen Smith layup, and a pair of Wilderotter free throws tied it with 9:48 to play. Wilderotter went back to the line less than a minute later and again converted both attempts to put Samford back on top for the first time since it held a 14-13 lead midway through the first half.
A Girstautaite free throw made it a one-point game with 8:46 to play, and a TaShama Banner jumper after Wilderotter's missed fastbreak layup put UNCG back on top at 35-34.
UNCG would stretch its lead back to three points twice – the first time when Kendra Smith hit both ends of a one-and-one and the next on Ashley Mullins' midrange jumper – but Samford had an answer both times.
When London's jumper made it 39-38 in the Spartans' favor with 3:43 to go, Banner answered with a steal and layup to push UNCG's lead back to three.
After almost two minutes without a point scored, Maxwell hit a 3-pointer with 1:14 to play to tie the score at 41.
The Spartans had a chance to retake the lead, but Hyson's layup wouldn't fall and Samford came away with the rebound. The Bulldogs then went to Maxwell for another 3-point attempt when Wilderotter pulled down her crucial offensive board to set up the final play.
UNCG held a big advantage on the glass, winning the rebounding battle, 46-33. The Spartans also dominated in the paint, holding an 18-8 scoring advantage.
Mullins, making her first start since Dec. 2 at Elon, blocked a career-high two shots. Girstautaite also had two blocks.
Banner matched her career high with six of UNCG's eight steals.
Grimsley finished with two points, snapping her streak of six straight games in double figures. The Spartans' leading scorer finished 1-for-13 from the field.
"We have a very disappointed team," Agee said. "We defended their Princeton offense very well, just not well enough with two seconds left. We had some chances to take control of the game in the last few possessions, and we missed free throws and easy layups. We let it get away. Hopefully we can take this and move forward. We know that we can compete on the road, and that's another step in our growth process. Now it's on to Chattanooga."
UNCG saw its three-game win streak to open SoCon play come to an end. The Spartans will look to bounce back at preseason SoCon favorite Chattanooga on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
SAMFORD 44, UNC GREENSBORO 41
UNC GREENSBORO (6-7, 3-1 SoCon)
Monique Floyd 4-9 0-0 8; Amanda Leigh 3-8 0-0 7; TaShama Banner 3-9 0-0 6; Lakiah Hyson 3-9 0-2 6; Kendra Smith 1-6 2-2 5; Agne Girstautaite 1-5 3-6 5; Gini Grimsley 1-13 0-0 2; Ashley Mullins 1-3 0-0 2; Sarah Folwell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-62 5-10 41.
SAMFORD (8-3, 3-1 SoCon)
Emily London 4-9 2-2 12; Monica Maxwell 4-7 0-1 12; Savannah Hill 3-9 1-3 8; Megan Wilderotter 1-5 6-6 8; Karmen Smith 2-6 0-0 4; Alex Crow 0-2 0-0 0; Paige Anderson 0-1 0-0 0; Jennifer Elkins 0-0 0-0 0; Chika Okoli 0-3 0-0 0; J'Quita Babineaux 0-1 0-0 0; Jazmine Powers 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 14-44 9-12 44.
UNC Greensboro................ 24
17 - 41
Samford....................... 20 24 - 44
3-point goals--UNC Greensboro 2-14 (Amanda Leigh 1-5; Kendra Smith 1-1; Lakiah Hyson 0-1; Gini Grimsley 0-4; Ashley Mullins 0-2; TaShama Banner 0-1), Samford 7-21 (Monica Maxwell 4-7; Emily London 2-4; Savannah Hill 1-1; Alex Crow 0-1; Paige Anderson 0-1; Karmen Smith 0-4; Megan Wilderotter 0-3). Fouled out--UNC Greensboro-None, Samford-None. Rebounds--UNC Greensboro 46 (Agne Girstautaite 11), Samford 33 (Emily London 8). Assists--UNC Greensboro 6 (TaShama Banner 2; Monique Floyd 2), Samford 10 (Savannah Hill 4). Total fouls--UNC Greensboro 15, Samford 9. Technical fouls--UNC Greensboro-None, Samford-None. A-311
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