Leigh shines again as Spartans power past Western Carolina, 75-61
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNC Greensboro turned in a dominating first half and Amanda Leigh hit the 20-point mark for the second game in a row as the Spartans dropped Western Carolina 75-61 Monday night to snap a two-game skid.
Leigh finished with a game-high 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting, including a 4-for-8 night from 3-point range. The four triples gave her 79 for her career, moving her into 10th place on UNCG's career list, one ahead of Jai Cole, who hit 78 from 1993-97.
Lakiah Hyson had 16 points for UNCG (6-9, 3-4 Southern Conference), while freshman Dayshaun Richbow flirted with a double-double with nine points and seven rebounds, both career highs. Emily Clarke led the Catamounts (3-13, 2-5 SoCon) with 16 points and Brittany Ferguson had a career-best 12 off the bench.
UNCG put together its highest-scoring first half of the season, shooting a solid 53.3 percent from the floor – and hitting its final six shots – in running out to a 44-30 halftime lead. Hyson had 14 points in the first half.
The Spartans trailed 19-18 with 7:19 to go in the opening half, but Richbow ignited a 10-0 run with a spinning layup and added a free throw for a three-point play. Sarah Folwell hit the second of her two 3-pointers on the evening, followed by Brey Dorsett's layup and a jumper from Richbow to make it 28-19 in UNCG's favor with 5:20 to play.
A Ferguson jumper snapped the run, but the Spartans continued to pile on, outscoring the Catamounts 26-11 to end the half.
Western Carolina rallied a bit to start the second frame, cutting UNCG's lead to 10 at 48-38 on Clarke's jumper with 16:02 to play.
Leigh answered with a 3 and UNCG weathered the storm, eventually pushing its lead to as many as 20 twice in the second half. Dorsett's 3-pointer with 6:24 to play made it a 68-48 contest and put the Spartans up by 20 for the first time.
A jumper from Ferguson and a 3-pointer from Kendra Carroll drew Western back within 15, but UNCG countered with a Richbow jumper and a Leigh 3 to push it back to 20 at 73-53 with just over four minutes to play.
The Catamounts finished the game on an 8-2 run – with Ferguson scoring six of those points – but the outcome of the game had been decided by that point.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for UNCG, which had
fallen on the road to Davidson and Wofford in its last two
contests. Leigh scored a career-best 21 points at Wofford on Friday
and has scored 20-plus points in consecutive games for the first
time in her career.
"I think Amanda is finally getting to where we thought she could be," UNCG coach Lynne Agee said. "Amanda's always been a shooter. She's handled the ball well as a guard, too; she's a fine passer. She needed to learn other ways to score when that shot wasn't falling and she's being aggressive now. She's beginning to put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket, she's getting to the free throw line. We need her to do more."
UNCG returns to action on Wednesday when it will host rival Elon at 7 p.m. at Fleming Gym.
NOTES: Hyson missed a pair of free throws in the second half, halting her string of 23 makes in 24 attempts. She was 6-for-8 from the line in the game, however, giving her 25 makes in her last 28 tries. … UNCG blocked eight shots on the evening, one shy of the school record. Agne Girstautaite had four of those. … Hyson and Monique Floyd shared game-high honors with five assists each. … UNCG matched its season low with 13 turnovers. The Spartans forced 20 Western Carolina miscues. … The win was UNCG's first against the Catamounts since the 2005-06 season, snapping Western's six-game winning streak in the series.
UNC GREENSBORO 75, WESTERN CAROLINA 61
WESTERN CAROLINA (3-13, 2-5 SoCon)
Emily Clarke 6-14 2-3 16; Brittany Ferguson 4-4 4-4 12; Kendra Carroll 4-6 0-0 9; Kaila'Shea Menendez 2-10 3-4 7; Kristen Feemster 3-7 0-0 6; Jessica Jackson 1-5 2-2 4; TT Belcher 1-4 1-2 3; Caitlin Hollifield 0-6 2-2 2; Janae Mckinney 0-1 1-2 1; Heather Swayne 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 21-57 16-21 61.
UNC GREENSBORO (6-9, 3-4 SoCon)
Amanda Leigh 7-16 2-2 20; Lakiah Hyson 4-9 6-8 16; Dayshaun Richbow 4-8 1-1 9; Agne Girstautaite 3-3 1-2 7; Kendra Smith 3-7 0-0 6; Sarah Folwell 2-4 0-2 6; Brey Dorsett 2-7 0-1 5; TaShama Banner 2-3 0-0 4; Monique Floyd 1-4 0-0 2; Amy Clapper 0-6 0-0 0; Jazz Weaver 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-67 10-16 75.
Western Carolina 30 31 61
UNC Greensboro 44 31 75
3-point goals--Western Carolina 3-10 (Emily Clarke 2-6; Kendra Carroll 1-1; Jessica Jackson 0-3), UNC Greensboro 9-24 (Amanda Leigh 4-8; Sarah Folwell 2-4; Lakiah Hyson 2-5; Brey Dorsett 1-3; TaShama Banner 0-1; Amy Clapper 0-1; Kendra Smith 0-2). Fouled out--Western Carolina-None, UNC Greensboro-None. Rebounds--Western Carolina 42 (Kristen Feemster 8), UNC Greensboro 38 (Dayshaun Richbow 7). Assists--Western Carolina 12 (Jessica Jackson 4), UNC Greensboro 15 (Lakiah Hyson 5; Monique Floyd 5). Total fouls--Western Carolina 15, UNC Greensboro 14. Technical fouls—Western Carolina-None, UNC Greensboro-None. A-203
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