The Basics

Score: ETSU 88, Western Carolina 80 - OT

Records:  Western Carolina (4-18, 0-7 SoCon) - ETSU (6-17, 4-3 SoCon)

Location: Brooks Gym - Johnson City, Tenn.        

   

Johnson City, Tenn. – Rookie guard Jewel Smalls scored a career-high 32 points - the 17th-most in a single-game in program history - in Western Carolina women’s basketball’s heartbreaking 88-80 overtime loss to ETSU Saturday afternoon in Brooks Gym. 

The Catamounts had a golden chance to win the game in regulation. With the game tied at 70, WCU had possession of the ball with .5 seconds remaining on the game clock. Breaking free off a screen on the ensuing inbounds play, the entry pass went to Smalls who caught the ball and in a flash seemingly sank a three-pointer as time expired in regulation. However, after the officials reviewed the replay and deliberated for some time, they waved off the would-be game-winning bucket to keep the game knotte at 70 aside and force the overtime period. 

Turning Point

In the extra session, ETSU outscored Western Carolina 18-10, finishing the fifth frame 8-of-10 from the free throw line to escape with the victory.

Individual Leaders

  • Smalls led all scorers in the game with 32 points.
  • Jada Miller ended the game with 11 points, scoring 10 of her total in the second period.
  • Judith Martin Ruiz recorded the first double-double of her career with 13 points and 10 rebounds. She also dished out six assists.
  • ETSU's Erica Haynes-Overton, who hit two game-tying free throws in the closing seconds of regulation, finished with a team-best 31 points to lead three Bucs in double figures.

Inside the Box Score

  • Western Carolina held a late two-point lead, 70-68, and ETSU inbounding the ball with 2.7 left in regulation. However, a foul was whistled just before the final buzzer sounded and the Bucs hit both free throws to tie the game at 70.
  • Western Carolina outscored ETSU in the second (22-21), third (12-10) and fourth (23-16) periods.
  • ETSU was sent to the line 20 times in the winning effort, hitting 13 from the charity stripe.
  • Western Carolina and ETSU each ripped down 43 rebounds.
  • Both teams shot 43 percent from the field.
  • Western Carolina’s five blocked shots in the game were the second most of the season.
  • Despite having a shortened bench, Western Carolina’s reserves outscored ETSU’s, 21-18.
  • The Catamounts connected on a six three-pointers in the game marking the 15th time this season WCU has hit six or more treys in a game.

News & Notes

  • Smalls’ 32 points is a new career-high for the rookie and mark the second time in three games she has scored 20 or more points in a game.
  • The 32 points marked the first time since 2014 that a Catamount has scored 30-or-more points in a game.
  • Smalls’ 32 points also rank her tied for 17th in the WCU record books for most points scored in a game. 
  • Also, on a Smalls note, her 13 made field goals ranks tied for fourth in the WCU record books for most field goals in a game, which is also a career-high for the freshman.
  • Smalls sank a career-high four three-pointers.
  • Miller’s 11 points were a career-high.
  • Martin Ruiz has now scored in double figures in four-straight games.
  • Western Carolina’s final tally of 80 points is a season-high.

Upcoming

Western Carolina returns home Thursday to host a true doubleheader with men’s basketball. Both teams welcome Furman with the women's game tipping at 5 p.m. followed by the men at 7:30 p.m. in the Ramsey Center.  

For the latest information on Catamount women's basketball, follow @catamounts on Twitter or go to www.catamountsports.com.

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