Spartans open SoCon play with preseason favorite Chattanooga on Thursday
UNCG (1-3, 0-0 SoCon) vs. Chattanooga (2-3, 0-0 SoCon), Dec. 1, 7 p.m., Fleming Gymnasium
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• UNCG opens Southern Conference play Thursday when it hosts perennial league power and preseason favorite Chattanooga to Fleming Gymnasium for a 7 p.m. contest.
• The Spartans picked up their first win of the season Saturday at North Carolina Central, 70-53, to give coach Wendy Palmer her first career victory. Breonna Patterson paced four Spartans in double figures with 16 points and a career-best seven assists in her first career start. Janae' Stevenson scored a career-high 15 points off the bench for UNCG, while Sidnei Harmon and Jarae Savage had 10 points each.
• Patterson has set new career bests in points, rebounds and assists in the last two games. The sophomore guard scored a career-high 23 points and pulled down a career-best six rebounds at Radford on Nov. 21 before more than tripling her previous career high (two) with seven assists at North Carolina Central on Saturday.
• Patterson, who entered the season with career averages of 4.1 points, 1.0 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game, is averaging 14.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game in her three games this season. She leads UNCG in scoring and assists and is third in the SoCon in scoring and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3).
• Natalie Headley is second on the team with 8.5 points per game. Harmon is right behind her at 8.3 points per contest and leads the Spartans with 5.0 rebounds per game. Harmon's 3.0 offensive boards per game lead the SoCon.
• UNCG is 6-28 against Chattanooga all-time. After winning the first four games in the series and five of the first seven, the Spartans have dropped 26 of the last 27 meetings to the Lady Mocs. Chattanooga won 15 straight over UNCG from 2001-06 before the Spartans' 71-68 win in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Jan. 2, 2007. The Lady Mocs have won 11 straight in the series since then.
• The Lady Mocs swept a pair of meetings from the Spartans last season. Chattanooga took a 72-63 win in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Jan. 8 then completed the sweep with a 65-53 win in Greensboro on Feb. 19. The nine-point loss in the first meeting was the closest result in the series since UNCG's 71-68 win in 2007.
• Chattanooga brings a 2-3 record into Thursday's contest and has dropped its last two games. After opening 2-1 with wins over UAB and Indiana State and a loss to No. 1 Baylor, the Lady Mocs lost a pair of games at the Cancun Challenge over Thanksgiving by a combined four points.
• In their first game of the Cancun Challenge, on Nov. 24, the Lady Mocs fell 65-62 to Idaho State despite 21 points from Kayla Christopher. The following day, Chattanooga dropped another tight contest, falling to unbeaten Cincinnati, 51-50. In that contest, a Whitney Hood jumper pulled UTC within a point with 2:05 left, but neither team would score the rest of the way. The Lady Mocs got off three shots in the final 17 seconds but couldn't get one to drop in falling under .500 for the first time on the season.
• Chattanooga, picked to the win the SoCon in the preseason coaches and media polls, was briefly ranked in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25, checking in at No. 23 before dropping the back-to-back games to fall from the poll.
•Christopher, a preseason All-SoCon pick, leads the Lady Mocs in scoring at 12.2 points per game. Fellow preseason All-SoCon selection Hood and Kylie Lambert are tied for second with 10.6 points per game each. Taylor Hall paces the squad in rebounding with 7.6 per contest, the third-best mark in the league. Hall's 6.0 defensive rebounds per game are first in the SoCon.
• The Lady Mocs have a pair of high-profile transfers on their roster. Sophomore Faith Dupree came to Chattanooga from perennial national power Tennessee and will make her first appearance Dec. 12. Ashlen Dewart, an All-SoCon performer at Appalachian State the last two years, is sitting out this year and will make her debut in 2012-13.
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