Score: Samford 49 - Western Carolina 42
Records: Western Carolina 5-13, 0-3 SoCon, Samford 7-10, 1-2 SoCon
Location: Ramsey Center - Cullowhee, N.C.
CULLOWHEE, N.C. -- Western Carolina women's basketball dropped its Southern Conference home opener, 49-42, Thursday in the Ramsey Center.
Both teams struggled from the field, but it was Western Carolina's second half issues at the free throw line that stymied the Catamounts. After going 7-of-8 from the charity stripe in the first and second period, WCU was just 8-of-17 in the third and fourth period.
The Catamounts' free throw woes, in the second half, was never more prevalent then in the fourth period when Samford was called for a foul and then a technical foul was assessed back-to-back. With Western Carolina trailing 42-36, and four free throws coming, the Catamounts were only 1-of-4. Had the Catamounts hit all four, WCU would have trailed by only 42-40, instead trailed 42-37. Samford outscored WCU seven to five in the final minute of the game.
Junior forward Sherae Bonner notched her seventh double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Samford's Katie Allen led all scorers with 15.
After Western Carolina was 7-of-8 from the free throw line in the first half, the Catamounts hit just 8-of-17 in the third and fourth period to end the game 15-of-25.
- Bonner led WCU with her seventh double-double of the season - 12 points and 13 rebounds.
- Nikki Johnson tied her career-high with eight points - all in the first half.
- Raziyah Farrington had eight points.
- Ten of Bonner's 13 rebounds were on the defensive end.
- Samford's Allen led all scorers with 15 points.
Inside the Box Score
- Western Carolina shot its second lowest percentage from the field this season shooting 23.9 percent.
- Western Carolina out-rebounded Samford 41 to 38.
- Western Carolina was 15-of-25 from the free throw line shooting 60 percent.
- Both teams hit five three-pointers.
- Samford gleamed 38 of its points from the bench.
News & Notes
- Johnson earned the first start of her career.
- With Johnson and Lauren LaPlant in the line-up, this was the third time this season two Catamount freshmen earned starting nods.
- After two games without a double-double, Bonner was back on the double-double train with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Now Bonner has had a double-double in four of the last six game.
- With the loss to Samford, WCU is on a three-game losing streak and remains winless in Southern Conference play.
- The 42 points scored by WCU is the third lowest scoring output of the season.
- With the 13 rebounds, Bonner now has 587 in her career, just three shy of motoring up to 11th place in the WCU record books. Bonner is also only 13 rebounds from 600 career rebounds which would make her just the 11th player in Western Carolina women's basketball history to eclipsed 600 career rebounds.
Western Carolina completes its two-game Southern Conference home-stand Saturday hosting Mercer at 2 p.m. The game can be seen on ESPN3.
For the latest information on Catamount women's basketball, follow @catamounts on Twitter or go to www.catamountsports.com.