For video of coach Lynne Agee's postgame comments, click here.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG used a balanced scoring attack and got a pair of layups to fall with less than 4 seconds left to snap a 53-all tie and hand coach Lynne Agee her 600th career win on Monday, 57-53 over Western Carolina.
Agee becomes just the 14th active Division I coach and 21st Division I coach overall to reach the 600-win mark.
"It's hard to think about it in that light," Agee said. "When I see those who've reached the 600 plateau, I'm not the big-time name that you read when you read that list. I've had an opportunity here with great challenges to elevate a program, in all three divisions, from III to II to I. I've had an awful lot of talented players who have won a lot of ball games. You don't win 600 by doing anything special, you win 600 by having people who can win the game and put the ball in the hole, and they've been very successful.
"It's a tribute to a lot of players who have passed through the system as well as all the coaches who've helped on my staff over the years. Longtime associate (head coach) Carol Peschel, who was a player here herself and actually started our program as the first All-American in 1981 when we came here. It's been a terrific ride over these 30 years, and to accomplish the 600 mark was not a personal goal of mine by any means, but it sure does put a nice touch to the years that we've put in and the years that UNCG has given me."
The Spartans (11-12, 8-7 Southern Conference) handed Agee the milestone win in dramatic fashion, getting the go-ahead bucket with less than 5 seconds left on the clock for the second straight game. Unlike Saturday at Georgia Southern, however, UNCG held on for the win.
Western Carolina' Kaila'Shea Menendez scored the last of her career-high 22 points with 12 seconds left, dropping in a layup to tie the game at 53.
With yet another game this season going down to the wire, UNCG's Monique Floyd brought the ball up the floor, worked to the left block and got the go-ahead layup to fall with 3.3 seconds remaining. Sophomore Dayshaun Richbow then stole the Catamounts' inbounds pass and laid it in to make it a two-possession game with just 1.3 seconds left, setting off a wild celebration at Fleming Gymnasium.
"Down the stretch, my goodness, for Dayshaun Richbow to make a big play at the end, we knocked some shots down when we needed to, it's just a terrific victory, no question," Agee said. "And it was a great team victory, with five people who scored eight and nine points. We shared the basketball and had a contribution from a lot of people today."
Menendez's 22 points led Western Carolina (6-17, 4-10 SoCon), while Rena Wakama had 10.
The Spartans led by as many as 13 in the second half, but saw the Catamounts turn in an 18-2 run midway through the frame to match their largest lead of the game at 43-40 with 8:57 left. Wakama had eight her points in the spurt, while Menendez had seven.
UNCG, meanwhile, was mired in a terrible shooting slump, as Floyd's jumper with 6:46 left was the Spartans' first field goal since Breonna Patterson's three-point play made it a 13-point game nearly 9 minutes earlier.
Now up 43-42 and with momentum clearly on its side, Western Carolina started to unravel.
After Dorsett stole the ball from her, Menendez bumped Dorsett to the ground, picking up the foul. As Dorsett was getting back up, Menendez knocked her down again and was whistled for a technical foul. Dorsett hit the back end of the two-shot foul to tie the game at 43 and UNCG would not trail again.
On Western's next trip down the court, Kristen Lyon had her layup waved off as she was called for an offensive foul. Less than a minute later, Richbow stole the ball from Wakama near midcourt and Wakama fouled her trying to recover. Richbow drained both free throws.
Another offensive foul by the Catamounts gave the ball back to UNCG, and Dorsett hit a 3-pointer to make it a five-point spread.
A Caitlin Hollifield layup cut it back to three but a Sarah Folwell 3-pointer made it a six-point game at 51-46 with just over 3 minutes to play. Hollifield and Dorsett traded bucket after a Diamond Hunnicutt free throw, and Menendez's 3-pointer with 58.3 seconds left drew WCU within two at 53-51 before her layup tied it in the waning seconds.
UNCG returns to action on Thursday at Elon. Opening tip is set for 7 p.m.
UNCG 57, WESTERN CAROLINA 53
WESTERN CAROLINA (6-17, 4-10 SoCon)
Menendez, Kaila'Shea 6-16 6-6 22; Wakama, Rena 3-9 2-5 10; McKinney, Janae' 3-7 3-4 9; Hollifield, Caitlin 4-11 0-1 8; Sanchez, Laura 1-1 0-0 3; Hunnicutt, Diamond 0-2 1-3 1; Abraham, Alex 0-0 0-0 0; Lyon, Kristen 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 17-48 12-19 53.
UNCG (11-12, 8-7 SoCon)
Monique Floyd 4-11 1-2 9; Dayshaun Richbow 2-6 5-6 9; Amanda Leigh 3-6 0-0 8; Brey Dorsett 3-8 1-2 8; Janae' Stevenson 3-3 2-5 8; Sarah Folwell 2-4 0-0 6; Kendra Smith 1-3 0-2 3; Breonna Patterson 1-4 1-1 3; Amy Clapper 1-3 0-0 2; Jazz Weaver 0-3 1-2 1; Natalie Headley 0-1 0-0 0; Sidnei Harmon 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-53 11-20 57.
Western Carolina.............. 20 33 - 53
UNCG.......................... 26 31 - 57
3-point goals--Western Carolina 7-15 (Menendez, Kaila'Shea 4-8; Wakama, Rena 2-4; Sanchez, Laura 1-1; Hunnicutt, Diamond 0-1; Hollifield, Caitlin 0-1), UNCG 6-18 (Amanda Leigh 2-4; Sarah Folwell 2-3; Kendra Smith 1-3; Brey Dorsett 1-3; Jazz Weaver 0-1; Breonna Patterson 0-1; Dayshaun Richbow 0-3). Fouled out--Western Carolina-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Western Carolina 42 (Hollifield, Caitlin 10), UNCG 31 (Monique Floyd 6). Assists—Western Carolina 8 (Hunnicutt, Diamond 3), UNCG 8 (Dayshaun Richbow 3; Monique Floyd 3). Total fouls--Western Carolina 20, UNCG 16. Technical fouls—Western Carolina-Menendez, Kaila'Shea; TEAM, UNCG-None. A-305
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