Jan. 6, 2014
GREENVILLE, S.C. - Sophomore guard Lindsay Simpson scored a season-high 21 points in Western Carolina women's basketball's (7-7, 1-2 Southern Conference) 76-69 loss at Furman (9-6, 3-1 SoCon) Monday in Timmons Arena.
Simpson, from Franklin, N.C., came off the bench to score 16 of her 21 in the first half. Just minutes after coming into the game, in the first half, Simpson drained her first three-pointer to give the Catamounts an instant spark. She scored nine of WCU's 11 points after entering the game at the 17 minute mark.
Simpson's second trey gave Western Carolina its first lead in the contest setting up a back and forth match up for the remainder of the first half. Down by one, 34-33, in the final 30 seconds of the half, senior guard Rena Wakama hit 1-of-2 free throws to knot the game before both teams headed to the locker room.
If the first half was a tie, the second half belonged solely to Furman. The Paladins opened the final 20 minutes outscoring WCU 17-4. Furman built the first double digit lead of the game, 51-40. Western Carolina continued to battle and even sliced the Paladin lead to three, after going on an 8-0 run, capped off by a pair of free throws by Makensey Campbell.
Furman had an answer to the Western Carolina run and ripped off a 9-2 scoring onslaught to push the lead back to 10, 60-50 with 8:52 left. Campbell was at it again for the Catamounts, when she drained a three-pointer, with 7:05 left to cut the Furman lead again to 62-57.
What was the answer by Furman? Another scoring run by the Paladins notching eight straight points, a final scoring run that all but put the game out of reach for WCU.
Leading by 13, 73-60, with 2:10 remaining, Furman held strong in Western Carolina's final salvo as the Catamounts benefitted from agressive play by Rena Wakama down the stretch. Wakama scored the Catamounts' final seven points in the game.
In total, Western Carolina had three players score in double figures led by Simpson's game-leading 21. Simpson connected on a career-high five three pointers and was 7-of-12 from the field. Campbell added 13 and Wakama had 12.
Furman also had three players scoring in double figures with Hollie Wilkins pouring in 20, Brittany Hodges with 15 and Whitney Bunn with 13.
The Paladins' second half surge was bolstered by a sizzling 50 percent shooting from the field. Furman also out-rebounded Western Carolina 44-35 and had 28 defensive boards.
Western Carolina's bench scored 58 of its 69 points. All three double figure scorers, for Western Carolina, came off the bench.
Western Carolina returns home Saturday hosting Chattanooga in its Southern Conference home opener. Tip time is set for 2 p.m. in the Ramsey Center.