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Women's Basketball Fends-Off Wofford 66-47

Feb. 3, 2014

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CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Guards Rena Wakama and Lindsay Simpson combined for 34 points as Western Carolina women's basketball (11-11, 5-6 Southern Conference) defeated Wofford (5-16, 3-8 SoCon) 66-47 Monday in the Ramsey Center.

Simpson, a sophomore from Franklin, N.C., scored 15 of her game-leading 18 points in the second half and went 4-of-5 from behind the three point arch. Wakama, a senior from Raleigh, N.C., scored all 16 of her points in the first half.

After building a 33-19 first half lead, Western Carolina held the scrappy Wofford offense at bay by bending and not breaking in the second half. The Catamounts never trailed in the game.

Kristen Lyon hit a lay-up, to start the second half and give WCU a 35-19 lead. Western Carolina then watched its double digit lead slip to just a nine point advantage, but the Catamounts always had an answer to Terrier scoring.

Wofford's Erin Frost hit a pair of free throws, making the score 38-27, but Simpson answered with a three-pointer. Frost one-upped Simpson with a three-pointer in return, but a five-point swing thanks to a jumper by Brianne Mack and a trey by Ali Lane, quieted the Terriers.

Thanks to the five-point swing, making the score 45-31, Western Carolina would lead by double digits the remainder of the second half. Western Carolina's largest lead of the game, 19 points, came twice in the final 1:10 of the game, both coming at the hands of the Catamounts' Justin Taylor who hit a free throw at 1:10 and then a jumper in the final nine seconds of the contest.

Western Carolina's scorching 50 percent shooting from the field, in the first half, helped the Catamounts take control of the game early and never relinquish it. Wakama scored the first four points of the game, leading to her 16 first-half points.

Wofford held with Western Carolina for most of the first half, trailing by just three points, thanks to a Chanel Stokes three-pointer to make the score 13-10 with 11:18 left in the half. Wakama hit a lay-up with 11:02 left and then neither team scored for almost four minutes. Shauna Terry broke the scoring lull when she hit a jumper with 7:49 left making the score 17-10. Wakama bookended the Western Carolina scoring run, capping it off with a three-pointer, in the Catamounts 9-0 run to build a 22-10 lead.

An 8-to-4 run by Wofford trimmed Western Carolina's lead to six, 27-18 with 3:18 left in the half. Wakama was there again to have an answer for the Terrier's run with her second three-pointer in the game. The Catamounts went on a 9-to-1 run, in the final four minutes, to build a 14 points (33-19) lead at the half.

The Catamounts held Wofford to an anemic 23.3 percent shooting in the first half. The Terriers hit just seven field goals in the first 20 minutes and finished the game shooting 28.6 percent. Western Carolina was just below its first half shooting percentage, in the second half, shooting 48.1 percent ending the game shooting a season-high 49.1 percent.

Western Carolina scored 21 points off 18 Wofford turnovers and also had 10 steals. The Terriers just edged the Catamounts in rebounds 40-38 but the Catamounts ripped down 30 defensive boards. The Catamounts also got 36 points from their bench.

Taylor just missed a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds and also had three assists and four steals. Logan Morris led Wofford with a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Western Carolina begins a two-game road swing Saturday at Samford. Tip time is set for 4 p.m.