Score: Western Carolina 77 - UNCG 73
Records: Western Carolina 8-21, 3-11 SoCon; UNCG 16-13, 7-7 SoCon
Location: Ramsey Center - Cullowhee, N.C.
CULLOWHEE, N.C. -- Five Western Carolina women's basketball players scored in double figures as the Catamounts closed out the regular season with a 77-73 Southern Conference win over UNCG Saturday in the Ramsey Center.
The victory halts a four-game losing slide heading into the Southern Conference tournament. The tournament is slated to begin Thursday, March 2, in Asheville, N.C. Western Carolina will be the No. 8 seed and face No. 1 seed Chattanooga at 11:30 a.m. in the Cellular Center. The game will also be part of the SoCon's annual Education Day event inviting area school children to the game.
Western Carolina trailed the Spartans 27-26 at the half but used a monster third period, outscoring UNCG 26-16, to take a 52-43 lead into the fourth period.
The Catamounts weathered a Spartan comeback attempt, UNCG outscored WCU 30-25 in the fourth period, seeing a double-digit lead erode to four points with six seconds remaining. Junior Julia Brown nailed a pair of free throws to push the lead back to six. UNCG's Bailey Williams drained a jumper at the buzzer to end the game but it was too little too late as WCU took the win.
Freshman forward Tess Harris led five Catamounts in double figures pouring in 14 points and connecting on three of WCU's seven three-pointers. Junior forward Sherae Bonner notched her ninth double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Raziyah Farrington also had 13 points, JonTay Mitchem added 12 and Kyia Hough had 10.
With Western Carolina trailing 27-26 at the half, the Catamounts used a colossal third period, outscoring UNCG 26-16, to build a 52-43 lead and hold on for the victory.
- Bonner notched her ninth double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
- Harris led WCU with 14 points.
- Mitchem was two points shy of tying her career-high of 14 points with 12 against the Spartans.
- Farrington had 13 points - the third straight game she has scored in double figures.
- Hough had 10 points in the game and also dished out four assists.
- UNCG's Williams led all scorers with 24 points.
Inside the Box Score
- Western Carolina had a season-low six turnovers in the game and forced UNCG to cough the ball up 17 times leading to 24 Catamount points. UNCG got just one point off a WCU turnover.
- Western Carolina hit seven three-pointers in the game.
- WCU was 24-of-36 from the free throw line while UNCG went just 12 times and hit eight.
- UNCG commanded the boards ripping down 51 rebounds to Western Carolina's 39. - Western Carolina shot 66.7 percent from the field.
News & Notes
- Western Carolina's 77 points against UNCG was the most the Catamounts have scored in a SoCon game this season.
- With 10 rebounds against UNCG, Bonner surpasses her season-best of 237 from last season to have a new season-high of 242. She now also has 650 rebounds in her career which continues to rank her 12th in the WCU record books. She needs 20 rebounds to move into 11th place.
- With three three-pointers against UNCG, Harris has now hit at least one three-pointer in the last eight games. She has also scored in double figures in three consecutive games. Her 36 three-pointers this season not only leads the team but pulls her into a tie for 23rd place in the WCU record books for three-pointers in the season.
- Since returning to the starting line-up, Mitchem is averaging 7.5 points per game and notched her first double-figure scoring performance, 12 points against UNCG, since scoring 14 points at Wofford on Jan. 5.
- Western Carolina's eight wins are one more than the Catamounts had in the 2015-16 season.
Western Carolina will be the No. 8 seed in the upcoming Southern Conference Championships and will face No. 1 seed Chattanooga at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 2, in the Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C. In the Catamounts last meeting with the Mocs, on Feb. 18, WCU fell to Chattanooga 60-48. Fans can watch the game on ESPN3 or listen to the game on the Catamount Sports Network.
For the latest information on Catamount women's basketball, follow @catamounts on Twitter or go to www.catamountsports.com.