Jan. 2, 2012
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Freshman guard Makensey Campbellscored a career-high 18 points as Western Carolina women's basketball (5-8) tipped off 2012 with a 63-58 win over USC Upstate (1-12) Monday at the Hodge Center.
Campbell tied her career-high with four three-pointers in the contest. She helped the Catamounts make a run in the first half to tie the game at 25 heading into the locker room. She scored nine points in each half.
Western Carolina was down by much as seven points in the first half, with UCS Upstate enjoying its third seven-point lead with 9:10 left. Senior guard Kaila'Shea Menendezhit a three-pointer to trim the Spartans lead to four, 16-12. USC Upstate returned the favor with a field goal to go up by six, 18-12.
The Catamounts ended the half on a 13-8 run. Twice WCU tied the game, first on a Campbell three-pointer and the second three in the run a trey by Rena Wakama.
It was a see-saw game for most of the second half. Each team enjoyed a slim lead, but it was Western Carolina's 10-2 run, in a five minute span, that gave WCU its largest lead of the game, eight. The Spartans did not hit a field goal from the 14:25 mark until Tyra Smith hit a jumper with10:02 left to play.
Smith's jumper for USC Upstate began the Spartan's own run in the game, as scored seven straight points to pull within one, 45-44, with 8:24 remaining. Though Western Carolina would bend in the game, the Catamounts never broke, after taking a 33-31 lead early in the second half.
USC Upstate would trim the Catamount lead to one point three more times. The last narrow margin came at 4:06 remaining when Kim Roach hit one of two free throws to pull the Spartans to 50-49. Freshman guard Ali Laneanswered for Western Carolina with a jumper to make it 52-49.
Leading by three, 56-53 with 2:13 remaining, Western Carolina relied on its free throw shooting to keep the Spartans at bay. The Catamounts were 7-of-8 from the charity strip, in the final two minutes, to ice the game.
Western Carolina had three players score in double figures, paced by Campbell who led all scorers with her 18 points. Wakama added 13 points and Menendez had 11.
USC Upstate pounded the boards, doubling up Western Carolina on the glass. The Spartans had 41 rebounds to the Catamounts 21, with 24 being on the defensive end.
The victory snaps a six-game losing streak for Western Carolina.
Western Carolina will return home Saturday to host UNCG at 2 p.m. in the Ramsey Center. The game is part of a doubleheader with men's basketball, who will tip-off against Wofford at 4:30 p.m. It will be the first home game for the Catamounts since December 5 when WCU hosted Appalachian State.