GREENSBORO, N.C. – Amanda Leigh went off for a career-high 30 points, Sarah Folwell hit a tying 3-pointer in the waning seconds of regulation to force overtime and the Spartans picked up a 76-64 win over College of Charleston in front of a school-record crowd Saturday in their annual Pink Zone contest.
Leigh was practically unstoppable for the Spartans (13-12, 10-7 Southern Conference), scoring all 30 of her points after halftime. She had 21 in the second half and nine in the extra period.
With UNCG trailing 60-57 in the final seconds of regulation, senior Monique Floyd found Folwell all alone on the wing. Folwell drained the tying 3 with 2.1 seconds left, bringing the raucous crowd of 713 – the largest ever for a women's game at Fleming Gymnasium – to its feet.
"What an amazing shot, to come off (the bench) pretty much cold without much playing time throughout the course of the game, to knock that big 3 down," UNCG coach Lynne Agee said. "That was an outstanding shot and that gave us a boost, I think, to go ahead and close the game."
From there, it was all Spartans. Breonna Patterson hit a jumper from the free throw line just seconds into overtime, and Leigh hit a 3, two free throws and a layup in succession for her own 7-0 run.
Janae' Stevenson would add a conventional three-point play and Leigh would get an easy fastbreak layup on a CofC miss to make it a 14-0 spurt to open overtime.
College of Charleston (7-18, 4-12 SoCon) would not get on the board in the extra session until just 1:08 remained, as Jillian Brown hit both ends of a one-and-one. After another Stevenson layup, Megan Fischer got a layup to go on the other end with 13 seconds left for the Cougars' lone field goal in overtime.
"We gave ourselves a chance to win," Agee said. "When we went into overtime, I thought we really had a lot of energy," We had a lot of defensive stops. You win it on the defensive end with possession of the ball when you're talking about a possession, possession game."
It was an exciting finish for the Spartans, who trailed by as many as 10 early in the second half. The Cougars were up 38-30 less than 2 minutes into the second half before Leigh got her first bucket of the game, but it seemed to be just the thing she needed to get going.
Her first 3-pointer followed shortly thereafter, and she added another to cut it to five at 45-40 with 13:39 left. She followed that up with a jumper to make it a one-possession game, but the Cougars' Janae Smith and Alyssa Frye answered with consecutive baskets to make it a seven-point game at 49-42.
That was when Leigh really caught fire, as she sandwiched a pair of 3s around a Smith jumper to make it a three-point game again. Leigh hit a pair of free throws to cut it to one, then added two more with just over 6 minutes remaining to give UNCG its first lead of the day, 52-51.
The teams would trade the lead over the next few minutes, and Tonia Gerty's 3-pointer with 55 seconds left put the Cougars on top 58-56.
A Stevenson free throw got the Spartans back within a point, but UNCG was forced to foul to stop the clock. Fischer hit both ends of a one-and-one with 15.9 seconds left to make it a three-point game, setting up Folwell's heroics at the end of regulation.
Stevenson finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds, matching the career high in boards that she set just two days prior at Elon. The double-double was the third of her career. Floyd, who was honored prior to the game for reaching the 1,000-point plateau for her career this season, scored 10 Saturday against the Cougars.
Leigh became UNCG's first 30-point scorer in nearly 11 years, as the last Spartan to hit the mark was Brianne Dodgen against Chattanooga on March 2, 2000. She had 32 in that contest.
"Amanda Leigh cranking out 30 points in the second half (and overtime) was obviously a plus to get us back in the game, no question about that," Agee said. "That's just one of the best performances we've probably ever had in the program. I can't remember anything like that."
Smith had 23 for CofC, while Gerty had 13 before fouling out in the last minute of regulation. Smith had 12 rebounds to finish with a double-double of her own.
Coincidentally, the Spartans were playing an overtime game for the first time since Feb. 14, 2009, which was also a Pink Zone contest for UNCG. The Spartans fell to Western Carolina that day, 66-58.
As part of its Pink Zone initiative this year, UNCG raised $386.86 through donations and ticket sales, all of which will go toward breast cancer research.
"It was an unbelievable crowd, the most people ever in this gym to watch us, to watch the women play," Agee said. "We put on a show for them, and I'm just so proud that we won with that crowd, we fought like Spartans. We got ourselves back in the game and didn't give up and played with confidence down the stretch."
UNCG has the next week off before returning to host Chattanooga on Saturday, Feb. 19, at 2 p.m. That contest will serve as Senior Day for Leigh, Floyd and Kendra Smith, and will also be UNCG's Pack the House game, with a new attendance goal to try to break.
NOTE: Prior to the game, Agee was honored for her 600th career win, which she accomplished Monday against Western Carolina. Director of Athletics Kim Record presented Agee with a trophy and ball commemorating the milestone win.
UNCG 76, COLL. OF CHARLESTON 64
COLL. OF CHARLESTON (7-18, 4-12 SoCon)
SMITH, Janae 10-20 1-2 23; GERTY, Tonia 5-12 2-2 13; FISCHER, Megan 3-10 2-2 9; HATCHER, Ariel 4-7 0-2 8; FRYE, Alyssa 2-6 0-0 5; HARDY, Cathryn 2-3 0-1 4; BROWN, Jillian 0-2 2-3 2; HARRIS, Latisha 0-1 0-0 0; MIMS, Taylor 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-61 7-12 64.
UNCG (13-12, 10-7SoCon)
Amanda Leigh 9-18 7-9 30; Janae' Stevenson 5-16 3-7 13; Monique Floyd 5-15 0-2 10; Dayshaun Richbow 2-5 2-3 6; Sidnei Harmon 3-8 0-0 6; Brey Dorsett 2-5 0-0 4; Sarah Folwell 1-2 0-0 3; Breonna Patterson 1-5 0-0 2; Amy Clapper 0-0 1-2 1; Jazz Weaver 0-3 1-2 1. Totals 28-77 14-25 76.
Coll. of Charleston........... 34 26 4 - 64
UNCG.......................... 26 34 16 - 76
3-point goals--Coll. of Charleston 5-16 (SMITH, Janae 2-4; GERTY, Tonia 1-3; FISCHER, Megan 1-4; FRYE, Alyssa 1-3; BROWN, Jillian 0-2), UNCG 6-17 (Amanda Leigh 5-11; Sarah Folwell 1-1; Dayshaun Richbow 0-1; Brey Dorsett 0-1; Breonna Patterson 0-3). Fouled out--Coll. of Charleston-GERTY, Tonia, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Coll. of Charleston 43 (SMITH, Janae 12), UNCG 50 (Janae' Stevenson 15). Assists--Coll. of Charleston 12 (GERTY, Tonia 7), UNCG 14 (Dayshaun Richbow 4). Total fouls--Coll. of Charleston 17, UNCG 13. Technical fouls--Coll. of Charleston-None, UNCG-None. A-713 10:34 1st - L Harris (55) (CofC) ejected for flagrant foul
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