CHARLESTON, SC – College of Charleston got 20 points from Tonia Gerty and used a 32-6 run spanning halftime to erase a 10-point UNC Greensboro lead and turn a close game into a rout, pulling away in the second half for a 71-51 win on Monday.
Lakiah Hyson scored 10 points to lead UNCG (7-14, 4-8 Southern Conference), while Jade Hughes added 11 for the Cougars (15-5, 8-4 SoCon), who turned 26 Spartan turnovers into 35 points to avenge a loss at UNCG in December.
After UNCG used a 14-0 run – capped by back-to-back 3-pointers from Gini Grimsley – to turn an 11-7 deficit into a 10-point lead midway through the first half, College of Charleston finally got its offense in gear.
The Spartans held Charleston without a field goal for nearly seven minutes in the first half before an Ericka Williams layup stopped UNCG's run with 7:17 to play in the opening frame. The teams traded points for the next few minutes, but the Cougars heated up from the field and put on an aggressive full-court press that forced several UNCG turnovers to chip away at the Spartans' lead.
A Jade Hughes 3-pointer with just over four minutes to go before the half kicked off a 17-0 run, putting Charleston up by seven at the half, 33-26, and in control of the game. The Cougars outscored UNCG 22-5 in the half after the Spartans had opened up a 21-11 advantage.
The spurt continued after the break, with 3-pointers from Gerty and Hughes trumping layups from Hyson and Kendra Smith and Brooke Kotcella adding a layup to put UNCG down by double digits for the first time on the day
Grimsley's jumper got the Spartans back within nine, but that was as close as the Spartans would get to turning it around, as Williams and Gerty hit consecutive 3s and Gerty added a layup to cap the game-changing run.
Smith scored eight points in her return to the starting lineup, notching consecutive layups for the first two baskets of the game in her first start since Nov. 28 against Florida Gulf Coast. Grimsley finished with eight points of her own off the bench.
The Cougars won the rebounding battle 44-38, and grabbed 19 offensive boards to hold an 18-6 advantage in second-chance points on the game.
Agne Girstautaite had a career-best three assists for UNCG and blocked a shot to move into a tie for fourth on the Spartans' single-season list with 30 and into a tie for sixth on the career list with 50.
Freshman Jazz Weaver recorded her first career field goal in the game, nailing a 3-pointer shortly after entering in the second half.
"The 22-5 run pretty well ended the ballgame for us," UNCG coach Lynne Agee said. "We couldn't claw and scratch back from that. We absolutely had no one who could contain Gerty. Charleston just took us off the dribble all night long.
"I thought we opened the game well. We were solid at the beginning of the ballgame, and we seemed intense, and then the bottom just fell out. When they threw the press on us, it was horrendous. For us to have 26 turnovers is just incredible. You're not going to be in any ballgame, obviously, with 26 turnovers."
The loss was the Spartans' second in a row and ninth in the last 10 games. UNCG is back in action on Jan. 31 when it hosts Chattanooga at 3 p.m.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON 71, UNC GREENSBORO 51
UNC GREENSBORO (7-14, 4-8 SoCon)
Lakiah Hyson 4-12 1-1 10; Gini Grimsley 3-7 0-1 8; Kendra Smith 4-9 0-0 8; Sarah Folwell 1-3 3-4 6; Agneta Morkunaite 2-2 0-1 5; Amanda Leigh 2-7 0-0 4; Jazz Weaver 1-1 0-0 3; TaShama Banner 1-2 0-0 2; Monique Floyd 1-6 0-0 2; Ashley Mullins 1-4 0-0 2; Agne Girstautaite 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 20-55 5-9 51.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (15-5, 8-4 SoCon)
GERTY, Tonia 8-12 0-0 20; HUGHES, Jade 4-13 0-0 11; MOYE, Sarah 3-6 3-4 9; KOTCELLA, Brooke 4-14 0-0 9; WILLIAMS, Nikki 3-6 0-0 8; WILLIAMS, Ericka 3-6 0-0 6; HATCHER, Ariel 1-3 2-2 4; KING, Megan 1-5 0-0 2; JONES, Deidra 1-5 0-0 2; MUDD, Indya 0-1 0-1 0; DAVIE, Brianna 0-0 0-0 0; WARNER, Jayme 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-71 5-7 71.
UNC Greensboro................ 26
25 - 51
College of Charleston......... 33 38 - 71
3-point goals--UNC Greensboro 6-14 (Gini Grimsley 2-5; Agneta Morkunaite 1-1; Sarah Folwell 1-1; Lakiah Hyson 1-4; Jazz Weaver 1-1; Amanda Leigh 0-2), College of Charleston 10-23 (GERTY, Tonia 4-6; HUGHES, Jade 3-4; WILLIAMS, Nikki 2-2; KOTCELLA, Brooke 1-8; KING, Megan 0-2; HATCHER, Ariel 0-1). Fouled out--UNC Greensboro-None, College of Charleston-None. Rebounds--UNC Greensboro 38 (Lakiah Hyson 7), College of Charleston 44 (KOTCELLA, Brooke 11). Assists--UNC Greensboro 12 (Agne Girstautaite 3; Amanda Leigh 3; Lakiah Hyson 3; Monique Floyd 3), College of Charleston 15 (GERTY, Tonia 6). Total fouls--UNC Greensboro 12, College of Charleston 13. Technical fouls--UNC Greensboro-None, College of Charleston-None. A-231
- UNCG -