Wofford downs UNCG in first round of SoCon Championship
For UNCG coach Lynne Agee's postgame remarks, click here.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Sixth-seeded UNCG staged an incredible second-half rally to shave a 20-point deficit down to one but couldn't complete the comeback, falling to No. 11 seed Wofford in the first round of the Southern Conference Women's Basketball Championship on Thursday, 69-64.
Senior Kendra Smith matched her season high with 14 points in her final collegiate game to lead the Spartans (13-16). Junior Sarah Folwell was also in double figures, matching her season high with 10 points.
Wofford (8-21) put all five starters in double figures, with April Moorhouse leading the way with a game-high 20 points. Mahagony Williams had 12, Logan Morris had 11 and Rachel Brittenham and Maddie Helms had 10 each.
The Terriers led 53-33 with 16:24 left to play before the Spartans started to cut into the lead. UNCG's bench played an integral part in getting the run going, as Jazz Weaver, Amy Clapper and Natalie Headley all had baskets as the Spartans crept within 14.
A Weaver free throw and a Folwell jumper got UNCG back within 11 and a Dayshaun Richbow jumper pulled the Spartans back within single digits at 55-46 with 11:10 to play.
Another Folwell jumper made it a seven-point game, but Wofford answered with consecutive baskets from Williams and a Moorhouse jumper to push its lead back to 13 at 61-48.
The Spartans refused to go away, however, turning in a 12-4 run over the next 5 minutes. Senior Monique Floyd's layup with 1:34 to go made it a one-possession game at 65-53 for the first time since midway through the first half.
UNCG got a stop on Wofford's next possession and had a chance to tie it on the other end, as Dorsett was fouled and went to the free throw line for a pair with 53.2 seconds left. Dorsett hit the first and missed the second, setting the stage for a dramatic finish.
A UNCG foul sent Morris to the line for a one-and-one with 18.5 seconds left, and after Morris hit the first, UNCG coach Lynne Agee called a timeout.
The tactic seemed to work, as Morris missed the back end to keep it a two-point game at 66-64. Folwell came down with the rebound but stepped on the end line, giving the ball back to Wofford with 17.1 seconds left to play.
Moorhouse missed a layup on the Terriers' ensuing possession but got her own rebound and was fouled going back up for another attempt. She drained both free throws to make it a two-possession game with12.4 seconds left.
With time running out, Smith missed a 3-point try and Richbow got the rebound, but her turnaround jumper was off the mark, as well.
Helms came up with the rebound and was fouled, hitting the back end for the final margin.
"Our effort obviously in the last 17 minutes of the game was tremendous," Agee said. "We should have been playing that way at the beginning of the game. We dug a big hole for ourselves and just didn't bring our energy and weren't ready to play. I tried to crank them up a little bit and challenge their pride and their school and their team, and they responded great. I thought we had an awesome comeback in the making there. So many times as you watch, that's what you see. You spend all your energy trying to get back in it and we were just one opportunity short."
UNCG – whose bench outscored Wofford's 38-6 – forced 24 Wofford turnovers and outrebounded the Terriers 43-40, but couldn't overcome the Terriers' hot start. Wofford shot 55.2 percent (16-for-29) from the floor in the first half, including a whopping 70 percent (7-for-10) from 3-point range.
An early 7-0 run put UNCG up 15-14 midway through the first half, but Wofford answered with a 26-14 spurt, capped by Brittenham's long-range buzzer-beater that made it a 40-29 affair at the break.
"We've played Wofford several times in the past," Agee said. "This year we've played Wofford and beaten them twice. They're a very talented team and I was concerned about them and I've been concerned about this game all week, actually, because we did handle them both times and they're usually tournament-ready. They came at us tonight. We tried to battle back and just weren't quite good enough.
"That's a long fight, but I was very proud of the way we fought back and kept fighting back. We trapped, we chased, we made big plays and stayed with it right till the end of the game. We left everything on the court."
WOFFORD 69, UNCG 64
April Moorhouse 8-14 3-3 20; Mahagony Williams 6-9 0-0 12; Logan Morris 4-10 2-3 11; Rachel Brittenham 4-7 0-0 10; Maddie Helms 3-9 1-3 10; Jessica Escorza 1-1 0-0 3; Ashley Kroker 1-4 0-0 3; Daniella Motley 0-4 0-0 0; Mariah Masalin 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-59 6-9 69.
Kendra Smith 5-11 2-2 14; Sarah Folwell 4-8 0-0 10; Brey Dorsett 2-4 3-4 8; Breonna Patterson 3-9 1-3 7; Jazz Weaver 2-7 2-4 7; Janae' Stevenson 1-3 2-2 4; Monique Floyd 1-6 2-7 4; Dayshaun Richbow 2-10 0-0 4; Sidnei Harmon 1-2 0-0 2; Natalie Headley 1-2 0-0 2; Amy Clapper 1-1 0-0 2; Amanda Leigh 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 23-67 12-22 64.
Wofford....................... 40 29 - 69
UNCG.......................... 29 35 - 64
3-point goals--Wofford 9-17 (Maddie Helms 3-8; Rachel Brittenham 2-2; April Moorhouse 1-1; Logan Morris 1-2; Jessica Escorza 1-1; Ashley Kroker 1-2; Mariah Maslin 0-1), UNCG 6-26 (Sarah Folwell 2-5; Kendra Smith 2-6; Brey Dorsett 1-3; Jazz Weaver 1-2; Dayshaun Richbow 0-1; Natalie Headley 0-1; Amanda Leigh 0-3; Breonna Patterson 0-5). Fouled out--Wofford-None, UNCG-Brey Dorsett. Rebounds--Wofford 40 (Mahagony Williams 9), UNCG 43 (Monique Floyd 7). Assists--Wofford 17 (Rachel Brittenham 7), UNCG 14 (Dayshaun Richbow 4). Total fouls--Wofford 18, UNCG 13. Technical fouls--Wofford-None, UNCG-None. A-859 SoCon Women's Basketball Tournament Game 3
- UNCG -