BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A close game at the half swung in UAB's favor Sunday as the UNCG women's basketball team suffered an 80-62 nonconference loss at Bartow Arena. It was the final nonleague contest for the Spartans as they now turn their attention to conference play for the remainder of the regular season.
Junior Janae' Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) netted her first double-double of the season and sixth of her career, scoring a career-high 20 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Also with a double-digit output was freshman Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) who dropped in 21 points. She also recorded a career-best six assists.
UNCG (3-8) stayed even with the Blazers (9-3) on the glass as each team pulled down 40 rebounds. The Spartans were plagued by 25 turnovers and UAB scored 24 points off those miscues. The Blue and Gold was strong down low, out-scoring the Blazers 40-36 in the paint and shot a slightly better percentage overall – hitting 28 of 62 shots for a 45-percent showing. UAB drained 29 of 65 attempts to end up at 44.6 percent.
After Ashley Grimes hit a layup 13 seconds in to put the Blazers ahead, Stevenson hit a jumper to cap a 6-3 run and give the Spartans a 6-5 advantage. Khoria Newman dropped in a layup to put UAB ahead by seven (19-12) at the 12:10 mark, but UNCG responded, outscoring 12-5 over the next seven minutes to make the score 24-23 in favor of the Blue and Gold with 5:46 left in the half. A newman layup helped the Blazers build another seven-point advantage with 1:32 on the clock, but Stevenson had the last word, grabbing an offensive rebound and putting it back for a score to make the halftime margin 35-30.
Stevenson picked up right where she left off coming out of the break, hitting a layup off an assist from Mason to cut the UAB lead down to 35-32. A jumper by Jarae Savage (Marietta, Ga./North Cobb) kept UNCG close at 43-38 with 15:41 remaining in the game, but the Blazer defense turned up and forced a flurry of Spartan turnovers. The UAB run reached 15-0 and ended when Khalilah Watson nailed a pair of free throws – leaving the home team with a 58-38 cushion.
The Spartans did not go away quietly as a jumper by Ebona Goins (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) trimmed the UNCG deficit down to 12 (60-48) with 7:55 on the clock. However, Amber Jones drained a three from the top of the key to push the advantage back to 15. UNCG would not come any closer the rest of the way.
The Spartans return home next weekend for a pair of Southern Conference games, beginning Saturday, Jan. 5 against Chattanooga. Tipoff at Fleming Gymnasium is scheduled for 2 p.m.
- UNCG -