See video of UNCG coach Lynne Agee's postgame press conference here.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Amanda Leigh scored a season-high 26 points and Monique Floyd added 20, but Appalachian State outscored UNCG 60-14 in the paint and fended off a late Spartan charge as the Southern Conference leaders took an 83-72 win Saturday.
Leigh went 9-for-13 from the floor and 5-for-8 from 3-point range and had 13 of her points in a 6-minute span in the second half as UNCG (9-9, 6-4 SoCon) tried to rally from a big deficit. Floyd was 8-for-14 from the floor as the Spartans had two players with 20 points for the first time in nearly six years.
The Mountaineers (14-4, 8-2 SoCon) were led by Sam Ramirez's 20 points. Ashlen Dewart had 19, Anna Freeman 17 and Kelsey Sharkey 11. Freeman just missed a double-double with a game-high nine rebounds.
UNCG shot 56.7 percent (17-for-30) from the floor in the second half and finished a season-best 50 percent (28-for-56) from the field for the game, but the Spartans could not overcome a 22-point second-half hole.
A Floyd jumper made it a 52-44 game with 13:10 to play, but the Apps turned in an 11-0 run to blow the game open. All but a Ramirez free throw came in the paint in the run, with eight of the points on the fast break. The Spartans had three of their 23 turnovers in the spurt, with the Mountaineers converting each time.
Leigh hit a 3-pointer to start her big spurt, but the Apps were still piling on. A Canesha Edwards layup and back-to-back baskets from Dewart gave ASU its biggest lead of the game, 69-47.
That seemed to be the wakeup call the Spartans needed, however, as Smith hit a 3 to jumpstart a 19-6 UNCG run. Floyd and Leigh followed with fastbreak layups but App countered with a pair of buckets to get it back to a 19-point bulge at 73-54.
Sidnei Harmon hit a free throw and Janae' Stevenson converted a three-point play to get the Spartans within 15. Leigh hit a 3 from the corner, then stole the Apps' ensuing inbounds pass and raced in for the easy layup to get UNCG within 10.
Ramirez hit a layup on the other end, but Leigh countered with another 3 to make it 75-66 and get the deficit back into single digits.
The Spartans would be unable to get it any closer, however, as the teams went point-for-point the rest of the way.
"The second half, I'm really proud of the run we made," UNCG coach Lynne Agee said. "We called a lot of sets and just tried to keep Leigh shooting the ball. She did a great job. I also think Dayshaun played a terrific game at the point."
UNCG had no answer for the Apps in the paint, as the Mountaineers' frontcourt of Sharkey, Freeman and Dewart combined for 47 points. The Apps also padded their points in the paint with the help of UNCG's 23 turnovers, which led to several fastbreak layups.
App scored 34 points off turnovers, while UNCG managed just 16 off of 17 ASU miscues.
The Spartans led by as many as six points in the early going, but a 3-pointer from Ramirez put the Apps ahead to stay with 8:34 to play in the opening frame. The teams traded buckets over the next several minutes, but Appalachian State would finish the half on a 7-0 run to take a 37-28 advantage into the break.
Leigh's big afternoon snapped a three-game shooting slump in which she had gone 5-for-30 from the floor and just 3-for-19 from 3-point range. Her five 3s Saturday matched her season high and were just one short of her career high.
"Obviously, Amanda Leigh's performance was outstanding," Agee said. "She really shot the ball well. I wish we could put that one in a bottle and bring it out on our next game Tuesday against Davidson."
UNCG returns to action on Tuesday when it hosts the Wildcats at Fleming Gymnasium at 7 p.m.
NOTES: Prior to Saturday's contest, the last time UNCG had two players with 20 points was on Feb. 15, 2005, when Jasmine Byrd had 24 and Ashley Current had 21 in a 90-87 win over Davidson in double overtime. … Byrd is currently playing professionally in Germany for the OKE Panthers and is the second-leading scorer on the team, which is 11-1 so far. … UNCG's loss snapped a streak of 16 straight wins when scoring at least 70 points. The streak dated back more than three years, as the last Spartan loss when scoring 70 came in a 76-73 setback at UCF on Dec. 20, 2007.
APPALACHIAN STATE 83, UNCG 72
APPALACHIAN STATE (14-4, 8-2 SoCon)
Sam Ramirez 8-16 2-3 20; Ashlen Dewart 8-18 3-3 19; Anna Freeman 7-14 3-5 17; Kelsey Sharkey 5-5 1-2 11; Chakeitha Weldon 3-6 0-0 6; Courtney Freeman 2-6 0-0 4; Canesha Edwards 2-4 0-1 4; Haley Hackett 1-1 0-0 2; Michelle Taylor 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 36-71 9-14 83.
UNCG (9-9, 6-4 SoCon)
Amanda Leigh 9-13 3-4 26; Monique Floyd 8-14 4-5 20; Kendra Smith 5-9 0-0 11; Janae' Stevenson 2-3 1-2 5; Amy Clapper 2-4 0-0 4; Dayshaun Richbow 1-3 1-2 3; Jazz Weaver 1-3 0-0 2; Sidnei Harmon 0-0 1-2 1; Nneka Awuruonye 0-0 0-0 0; Sarah Folwell 0-1 0-0 0; Brey Dorsett 0-3 0-0 0; Breonna Patterson 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 28-56 10-15 72.
Appalachian State............. 37 46 - 83
UNCG.......................... 28 44 - 72
3-point goals--Appalachian State 2-10 (Sam Ramirez 2-8; Ashlen Dewart 0-2), UNCG 6-14 (Amanda Leigh 5-8; Kendra Smith 1-2; Sarah Folwell 0-1; Brey Dorsett 0-2; Breonna Patterson 0-1). Fouled out--Appalachian State-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Appalachian State 39 (Anna Freeman 9), UNCG 29 (Kendra Smith 6). Assists--Appalachian State 20 (Sam Ramirez 6), UNCG 19 (Dayshaun Richbow 9). Total fouls--Appalachian State 15, UNCG 12. Technical fouls--Appalachian State-None, UNCG-None. A-398
- UNCG -