CHARLESTON, S.C. – Kendra Smith hit a crucial jumper as the shot clock expired with 24 seconds left in the game and Dayshaun Richbow put it away with a pair of free throws with 9 seconds left as UNCG survived College of Charleston's upset bid Saturday, 50-45.
Monique Floyd scored a game-high 18 points to lead the Spartans, who improved to 9-7 overall and reclaimed sole possession of first place in the Southern Conference at 6-2 in the league. Smith finished with 10 points and Richbow 11 for UNCG.
Janae Smith had 13 points to lead the Cougars (4-13, 1-7 SoCon), who dropped their eighth straight. Deidre Ramer was also in double figures with 11 points, while Jillian Brown pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.
The game was a tight one throughout, as neither side led by more than three points in the second half until the Spartans stretched it to five with less than 2 minutes to go.
Richbow's jumper as the shot clock buzzed snapped a 41-all tie with 4:20 left, putting UNCG on top for good, but CofC was not going away.
After Kendra Smith hit the front end of a one-and-one to make it a three-point game and Janae' Stevenson hit both ends of her one-and-one with 1:44 left to put UNCG up five at 46-41, Janae Smith sandwiched a pair of layups around a CofC defensive stop to make it a one-point contest, setting the stage for Kendra Smith's key jumper.
The Cougars called a timeout after the bucket to set up their offense, and Janae Smith shot a long-range 3 that didn't connect. Stevenson pulled down perhaps the biggest of her six rebounds on the night and got the ball to Richbow, who iced the game at the line.
The Spartans held an early seven-point lead when Richbow's 3-pointer made it 11-4 just over 5 minutes into the contest. That would be UNCG's last field goal for the next 5 minutes, but the Cougars failed to capitalize on the drought, suffering through a nearly 5-minute drought of their own.
At 16-11, UNCG was still in control, but the Spartans saw the lead disappear via a 10-0 CofC run. The Cougars' Latisha Harris scored the first two buckets in the run, and Ramer scored the next three to complete the spurt.
Floyd stopped the run with back-to-back baskets, and Kendra Smith added a jumper to put UNCG back on top. Harris, however, hit both ends of a one-and-one with 15.3 seconds left in the frame to give CofC a 23-22 halftime lead.
UNCG held College of Charleston without a 3-pointer, as the Cougars went 0-for-13 from beyond the arc. The Spartans also forced 19 CofC turnovers.
Several Spartans had big nights. Richbow matched her career high with five steals on the night, while Stevenson had eight points and three blocked shots, matching her career high, to go with her six boards. Floyd had five rebounds, four assists and no turnovers. Kendra Smith's three steals also matched her career high.
The UNCG win snapped College of Charleston's three-game winning streak in the series. It was the Spartans' first win in Charleston since 2006 and the first ever in Carolina First Arena, which opened prior to the 2008-09 season.
The Spartans are back in action Wednesday when they host SoCon rival Elon at Fleming Gymnasium at 7 p.m.
UNCG 50, COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON 45
UNCG (9-7, 6-2)
Monique Floyd 8-14 2-2 18; Dayshaun Richbow 4-7 2-4 11; Kendra Smith 4-9 1-2 10; Janae' Stevenson 3-10 2-2 8; Natalie Headley 1-2 0-0 2; Jazz Weaver 0-4 1-2 1; Sidnei Harmon 0-2 0-0 0; Nneka Awuruonye 0-2 0-0 0; Amanda Leigh 0-10 0-0 0; Colleen Nosovitch 0-0 0-0 0; Sarah Folwell 0-0 0-0 0; Brey Dorsett 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 20-63 8-12 50.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON (4-13, 1-7)
SMITH, Janae 6-16 1-4 13; RAMER, Deidre 4-8 3-6 11; HARRIS, Latisha 4-8 0-0 8; FISCHER, Megan 1-10 4-4 6; HATCHER, Ariel 1-5 1-2 3; HARDY, Cathryn 1-6 0-0 2; DAVIE, Brianna 1-1 0-0 2; BROWN, Jillian 0-7 0-0 0; HICKS, Alexis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-61 9-16 45.
UNCG.......................... 22 28 - 50
Coll. of Charleston........... 23 22 - 45
3-point goals--UNCG 2-19 (Dayshaun Richbow 1-4; Kendra Smith 1-3; Natalie Headley 0-1; Jazz Weaver 0-1; Nneka Awuruonye 0-1; Amanda Leigh 0-6; Brey Dorsett 0-2; Monique Floyd 0-1), Coll. of Charleston 0-13 (SMITH, Janae 0-4; FISCHER, Megan 0-5; HATCHER, Ariel 0-1; HARDY, Cathryn 0-1; BROWN, Jillian 0-2). Fouled out--UNCG-None, Coll. of Charleston-None. Rebounds--UNCG 41 (Kendra Smith 6; Janae' Stevenson 6), Coll. of Charleston 52 (BROWN, Jillian 11). Assists--UNCG 11 (Monique Floyd 4; Dayshaun Richbow 4), Coll. of Charleston 5 (FISCHER, Megan 2; HARDY, Cathryn 2). Total fouls--UNCG 12, Coll. of Charleston 11. Technical fouls--UNCG-None, Coll. of Charleston-None. A-382
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