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Women's Basketball Uses Second-Half Surge to Defeat Furman 65-54

Feb. 1, 2014

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CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina women's basketball (10-11, 4-6 Southern Conference) used a powerful second-half surge to defeat Furman(12-9, 6-4 SoCon) 65-54 Saturday in the Ramsey Center for its "We Back Pat" game.

With the win, Western Carolina splits the regular season match-up with Furman after falling to the Paladins 76-69 Jan. 6, 2014.

The Catamounts outscored the Paladins 39-26 in the second half, after trailing 28-26 at the half, shooting 45.8 percent in the final 20 minutes. Western Carolina also benefitted from four second half three pointers, finishing the game with six, and held Furman to just one three-pointer in the game.

With the game tied at 42 at 8:48 left in the game, senior Alex Abraham's jumper inside the paint, as the shot clock would down, spurred a 12-2 run by Western Carolina. The 10-point, 53-43, advantage with 4:18 left in the game was the first double-digit lead by either team in the contest. The Catamounts expanded its double digit lead when senior Rena Wakama capped it off with a three pointer to make the score 56-43.

The scoring onslaught by Western Carolina, midway through the second half, put Furman on its heels and the Paladins couldn't seem to recover. Furman did cut the Western Carolina lead to single digits, 56-47, off a pair of free throws by Whitney Bunn and a layup by Janice Roberts but Western Carolina had an answer. With 1:26 remaining, Erika Joseph was 3-of-4 from the free throw line, in a five second span, to push the lead back to 12, 59-47.

Western Carolina struggled a bit from the free throw line, in the final minute, hitting 6-of-10 from the charity strip. The Catamounts withstood a scoring push by Furman in the closing minute of the game to take the win. Both teams battled in the first half for an advantage. Tied at four, Furman hit its only three-pointer in the game when Allison Beasley drained the trey to make the score 7-4 at the 13:58 mark. Furman built its largest lead of the game, 22-14, at 6:41. Trailing by eight, Western Carolina went on a 12-4 run to tie the game at 24 with 3:20 remaining in the half. Joseph's jumper gave the Catamounts a brief lead in the game, 26-24, before Furman answered with a jumper by Sarah Durdaller to knot the game at 26. Brigid Morrissey's jumper with 28 seconds left in the half gave the Paladins' the 28-26 advantage heading into halftime.

Western Carolina junior guard Justin Taylor came off the bench to lead the team with 12 points. Taylor was one of three players to score in double figures including Haden's 11 and Joseph's 10. Senior Shauna Terry ripped down a season-high 11 rebounds to go with four points and two blocks. The Catamounts got 28 of its points from their bench.

Furman had two players score in double digits with Holli Wilkins 12 and Brittany Hodges' 11.

Furman out-rebounded Western Carolina 43-40. The Catamounts forced 18 Furman turnovers getting 12 points off them. Western Carolina also had a season-high 10 steals led by Haden's three swipes.

Western Carolina completes its four-game home stand Monday when it hosts Wofford. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. in the Ramsey Center.