For video of UNCG coach Wendy Palmer's postgame comments, click here.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Natalie Headley's putback jumper in the lane with just 2.2 seconds left capped a wild finish and lifted UNCG to a 55-54 Southern Conference win over Georgia Southern on Sunday, snapping the Spartans' nine-game losing streak.
The Spartans (3-13, 2-6 SoCon) led 50-36 with 5:21 left, but Janay Wilson's pair of free throws started a 13-1 run that saw Georgia Southern (5-12, 1-7 SoCon) pull within two points with just over a minute to go.
UNCG's Janae' Stevenson hit a pair of free throws with 43 seconds left to make it a two-possession game again, but MiMi DuBose drained a long 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it 53-52 with 32.9 seconds left.
The Lady Eagles put Headley on the free throw line for a one-and-one opportunity to stop the clock with 22.7 seconds left, but Headley missed the front end. Stephenson came up with a huge offensive rebound for the Spartans, but her follow layup up rolled off the rim and Wilson came away with the rebound. She fired down the court and hit DuBose in stride, with DuBose getting a layup to fall with 13.2 seconds left to give GSU a 54-53 advantage and its first lead since midway through the first half.
After a UNCG timeout with 12.3 seconds left, Dayshaun Richbow missed a short-range jumper with about four seconds remaining. Headley grabbed the offensive board and quickly got off the winning jumper, sending the home crowd into a frenzy.
The Lady Eagles had one last chance at the win, but DuBose's half-court prayer as time expired went off the back rim and the Spartans survived.
"One of the things I stress is to stay ready," UNCG coach Wendy Palmer said of Headley hitting the winning shot after missing the front end of the one-and-one just seconds earlier. "You never know when your name is going to be called. She's starting as our point guard right now. She's played 1-4, she never knows on any given night what position I'm going to have her play the most in, but she stays ready and she's fighting through some nagging little injuries."
Headley's 10 points led a balanced attack for UNCG, which got nine points from Breonna Patterson, eight each from Stevenson, Richbow and Jarae Savage and seven from Jazz Weaver. UNCG's bench outscored GSU's 27-8 on the afternoon.
"All the players scored except Sidnei (Harmon), but Sidnei had five rebounds and she's a huge key to our team, doing the little intangible things," Palmer said. "Everyone contributed, and they worked really hard. It's very deserving for them to get this win today."
DuBose had a season- and game-high 19 points for the Lady Eagles, while Meredyth Frye just missed a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds.
Georgia Southern jumped out to an early six-point lead in the contest, but the Spartans turned in a 23-6 run over a 10-minute stretch in the first half to claim a 28-17 advantage.
Freshman April Carson got the spurt started with a 3-pointer from the corner, while Patterson sandwiched a pair of triples around Richbow's turnaround jumper and Savage hit back-to-back layups as the Spartans blitzed GSU.
Weaver then got hot, scoring seven of UNCG's next 11 points and capping the run with a 3-pointer of her own. UNCG led at the half for just the fourth time this season, taking a 28-21 advantage into the locker room.
UNCG led by double digits for much of the second half before the Lady Eagles made their late run. Every time GSU got back within single digits, the Spartans seemed to have an answer before Georgia Southern strung together its closing spurt.
Savage and Richbow led UNCG with six rebounds each as the Spartans won the rebounding battle for just the third time on the season, 39-38. Stevenson and Harmon had five each, while Stevenson blocked a career-high four shots and moved into sole possession of seventh place in UNCG history with 61 in her career.
The Spartans held GSU to just 2-for-13 shooting from 3-point range, good for a 15.4 percent effort.
UNCG will try to make it two in a row when it takes on Furman at Fleming Gym on Saturday. The contest tips at 2 p.m.
UNCG 55, GEORGIA SOUTHERN 54
GEORGIA SOUTHERN (5-12, 1-7 SoCon)
MiMi DuBose 6-12 5-7 19; Meredyth Frye 4-13 1-1 9; Anna Claire Knight 4-9 0-0 8; Janay Wilson 2-9 2-2 6; Tashayla Steede 1-1 2-2 4; Briana Scott 2-4 0-0 4; Danielle Spencer 1-1 0-0 2; Ro-Ro Smith 1-5 0-0 2; Samantha Williams 0-4 0-0 0; Lacie Dowling 0-0 0-0 0; Aishya Wofford 0-0 0-0 0; Jordi Cook 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-58 10-12 54.
UNCG (3-13, 2-6 SoCon)
Natalie Headley 4-9 2-3 10; Breonna Patterson 3-9 0-0 9; Janae' Stevenson 2-8 4-7 8; Dayshaun Richbow 4-14 0-0 8; Jarae Savage 4-8 0-0 8; Jazz Weaver 3-4 0-0 7; April Carson 1-2 0-0 3; Sarah Folwell 1-4 0-0 2; Sidnei Harmon 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 22-61 6-10 55.
Georgia Southern.............. 21 33 - 54
UNCG.......................... 28 27 - 55
3-point goals--Georgia Southern 2-13 (MiMi DuBose 2-5; Meredyth Frye 0-4; Anna Claire Knight 0-1; Janay Wilson 0-1; Samantha Williams 0-2), UNCG 5-11 (Breonna Patterson 3-5; Jazz Weaver 1-2; April Carson 1-2; Sarah Folwell 0-2). Fouled out--Georgia Southern-None, UNCG-None. Rebounds—Georgia Southern 38 (Meredyth Frye 8; Janay Wilson 8), UNCG 39 (Jarae Savage 6; Dayshaun Richbow 6). Assists--Georgia Southern 14 (Janay Wilson 7), UNCG 12 (Dayshaun Richbow 4). Total fouls--Georgia Southern 9, UNCG 10. Technical fouls--Georgia Southern-None, UNCG-None. A-394
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