Second-half rally falls short as Penn tops UNCG
For video of UNCG coach Wendy Palmer's postgame comments, click here.
SAN DIEGO – UNCG turned in a 20-4 run to cut into a 23-point second-half deficit down to seven but could not complete the comeback, falling to Penn 47-36 at the San Diego Surf 'N Slam Classic at San Diego State's Viejas Arena on Thursday.
"They came out and they played a lot harder than they did yesterday," UNCG coach Wendy Palmer said of her Spartans. "We were unable to handle (Penn's) run in the second half after getting down by 10 in the first half. They came out and scored right off in the first five minutes, so it was hard to come back from that. We started to press and get up and things started happening to us, but it was just too hard to overcome the deficit."
After Penn (7-2) opened the second half on a 15-2 to run to blow open what had been a 10-point game at the half, UNCG (2-10) answered with an even bigger run to seize momentum back from the Quakers.
Janae' Stevenson was the catalyst for the Spartans, scoring nine of her team-best 11 points in the spurt to get UNCG back within 41-34 with 4:38 to play.
A Katy Allen 3-pointer stopped the spurt, however, ending Penn's field goal drought of 7 minutes, 12 seconds. With the lead back in double digits, the Quakers were able to push their advantage to 13 points before settling for the 11-point victory.
The game was close in the early going, with the teams tied at 4 at the first media timeout. A Renee Busch 3 made it a three-point spread before Dayshaun Richbow's layup got UNCG back within a point. Busch hit another 3 to make it a four-point game at 10-6 before another Richbow bucket again made it a one-possession game.
Alyssa Baron got a jumper to fall to make it a four-point spread and the Quakers never looked back. Baron had nine first-half points, including the final bucket of the half for either team, to make it 22-12 at the break. Neither team scored for the final 4:09 of the opening frame, while UNCG's drought was the final 7:38.
The Quakers stormed out of the gate in the second half, opening the frame on the 15-2 run to make it 37-14 with 16:10 left. Jess Knapp and Meghan McCullough had five points each in the spurt, each hitting a layup and a 3.
But that was when the Spartans would take over, starting with Natalie Headley's jumper with 15 minutes left. Stevenson had three of UNCG's next four baskets, sandwiched around a 3 from Breonna Patterson. Consecutive baskets from Jazz Weaver made it a 10-point game at 39-29.
Baron stopped the bleeding a bit with a pair of free throws, but Stevenson made a jumper then stole the ball and fed Headley for a layup to make it an eight-point game. Headley was fouled on the play but couldn't convert the ensuing free throw. A Stevenson free throw with 4:38 left pulled UNCG within seven for the first time since late in the first half before Allen's 3 restored Penn's double-digit lead.
Baron finished with a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and was the only Quaker in double figures. Knapp had nine points and eight rebounds.
Stevenson added six rebounds and matched her career high with two assists for the Spartans, while Sidnei Harmon matched her season high with nine boards.
"Janae' got into the post and started being a presence," Palmer said. "She gathered herself and collected herself and was able to pass out when needed to, and score. So, she did a really got job, we've just got to get her to do it for 40 minutes."
Headley, who finished with four points, four rebounds and three steals, had matched her career high in steals just 12 minutes in.
UNCG won the rebounding battle for just the second time this season, pulling down 35 to Penn's 32. The Spartans dominated the offensive glass, 11-2.
UNCG returns to Southern Conference play when it takes on Western Carolina in Cullowhee, N.C., on Jan. 7 at 2 p.m.
PENN 47, UNCG 36
Alyssa Baron 6-15 4-5 16; Jess Knapp 4-8 0-0 9; Renee Busch 3-3 0-0 9; Meghan McCullough 3-6 1-2 8; Katy Allen 1-3 0-0 3; Kara Bonenberger 1-4 0-0 2; Jourdan Banks 0-0 0-0 0; Kristen Kody 0-2 0-0 0; Jackie Kates 0-4 0-0 0; Brianna Bradford 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-45 5-7 47.
Janae' Stevenson 5-8 1-2 11; Jazz Weaver 3-6 0-0 6; Dayshaun Richbow 3-12 0-2 6; Breonna Patterson 2-6 0-0 5; Natalie Headley 2-7 0-1 4; Jarae Savage 1-5 0-0 2; Sidnei Harmon 1-7 0-0 2; Nneka Awuruonye 0-1 0-0 0; April Carson 0-0 0-0 0; Sarah Folwell 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 17-54 1-5 36.
Penn.......................... 22 25 - 47
UNCG.......................... 12 24 - 36
3-point goals--Penn 6-19 (Renee Busch 3-3; Katy Allen 1-2; Meghan McCullough 1-3; Jess Knapp 1-3; Kristen Kody 0-1; Jackie Kates 0-3; Alyssa Baron 0-4), UNCG 1-7 (Breonna Patterson 1-2; Dayshaun Richbow 0-3; Jarae Savage 0-1; Sarah Folwell 0-1). Fouled out--Penn-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds--Penn 32 (Alyssa Baron 10), UNCG 35 (Sidnei Harmon 9). Assists--Penn 11 (Alyssa Baron 5), UNCG 9 (Dayshaun Richbow 2; Natalie Headley 2; Janae' Stevenson 2). Total fouls--Penn 11, UNCG 9. Technical fouls--Penn-None, UNCG-None. A-192
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