GREENSBORO, N.C. – Western Carolina held off a late rally by the UNCG women's basketball team Saturday afternoon on the way to picking up a 60-49 Southern Conference victory at Fleming Gymnasium.
The Catamounts turned the ball over one more time than the Spartans (13-12) and shot a lower percentage (.358-.333), but crashed the glass to the tune of 46 rebounds – including 21 offensive caroms – to tally 16 second-chance points. UNCG was limited to just 32 rebounds and made just six of 11 free throws (.545) as compared to a 10-for-13 (.769) performance by Western.
Junior guard Breonna Patterson (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) led all scorers in the contest with 19 points while hitting four of the Spartans' five (5) three-point field goals. Also scoring in double figures was freshman guard Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) who put in 12 points. Senior forward Sidnei Harmon (Cincinnati, Ohio/Turpin) pulled down a team-high eight rebounds with three on the offensive glass. The Catamounts were led in scoring by Makensey Campbell's 18 points and five (5) three-pointers off the bench. Additionally, of the 11 Western Carolina players who saw action, 10 of them recorded multiple rebounds.
Ali Lane opened the scoring, giving the Catamounts a 2-0 advantage off a jumper at the 19:31 mark. Mason would then answer with a three before Patterson extended the lead to 5-2 with a jumper off a Mason assist. Western would answer with a 12-4 run over the next six minutes as the Catamounts built a 14-9 edge when Campbell hit one of her triples.
A three by Patterson with 9:01 left in the half made the score 15-13 in favor of the visitors, but UNCG found trouble scoring the rest of the period. Campbell hit yet another triple to push the WCU cushion out to 32-19 before hitting a free throw with one second on the clock thanks to a foul by sophomore guard Jarae Savage (Marietta, Ga./North Cobb). As a result, the Catamounts took a 33-19 edge into the break.
Rena Wakama and Campbell netted 10 points for Western in the first 20 minutes while Patterson ended up with eight. The Spartans shot just 28 percent in the half, hitting seven of 25 attempts from the field. The Catamounts also held a 26-14 advantage in rebounding during the opening stanza.
Western Carolina came out on fire in the second half, racing out to a 43-25 lead when Ali Lane nailed a three at the 13:48 mark. UNCG was able to whittle its deficit under 10 when freshman guard Ebona Goins (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) got to the basket and was fouled. She hit one of two free throw shots to make the score 48-39 with 7:45 left in the contest.
Mason hit a pair of jumpers in successive fashion to bring the Blue and Gold even closer as her efforts pulled the Spartans to within 50-43 with 6:29 on the clock. Wakama would respond with a layup to make it a nine-point game once again before UNCG made one last charge.
Goins would knock down a free throw and Mason followed with a layup as the clock ticked down to 3:27 remaining. The teams traded misses until Western was able to grab two offensive rebounds and Shauna Terry eventually put the ball in the basket to give the Catamounts a 56-49 lead with 63 seconds left. WCU salted the game away with four free throws in the final minute.
UNCG heads back on the road for its next contest, traveling south to face College of Charleston. The Spartans and Cougars will tip off Monday, Feb. 4 at 11:30 a.m. inside TD Arena.
- UNCG -