Feb. 17, 2014
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Behind sophomore forward Erika Joseph's first career double-double, 16 points and 14 rebounds, Western Carolina women's basketball staved off UNCG 63-51 Monday in the Ramsey Center.
Joseph became the first Catamount to record a double-double this season. Her 16 points ties her career high and the 14 rebounds is a career best for the Lilburn, Ga. native. In fact, it is the first time in her career she has ripped down double figure rebounds In a game.
Western Carolina's win over the Spartans halts a three-game winning streak. The win secures the first series sweep of the season for WCU. The Catamounts improve to 12-14 on the season and 6-9 in the Southern Conference. UNCG falls to 6-19 and 2-12 in the SoCon.
The Catamounts set the tone early scoring the first four points of the game and built a double digit lead four times in the first half, with its largest lead of 15 points coming with 5:38 left in the half. Western Carolina rode a 6-2 run to build the ead capped off by a jumper by freshman Alexis Carter.
UNCG proved why it is such a volatile and scrappy team when it shook off the 15 point deficit and whittled the Catamount lead to four points at the half. The Spartans put together an 11-0 run in the final five minutes of the half to trail 32-28.
Western Carolina opened the second half the way it did to start the game scoring the first four points pushing its four point half time lead to eight, 36-28. UNCG kept pressing and again cut the Catamount lead to four off a three pointer by Bailey Williams, the Spartans' only trey of the game, and a layup by Lucy Mason putting the score 38-34.
Makensey Campbell squelched the UNCG scoring knocking down a three pointer, one of six in the game for WCU, to push the Catamount lead back to seven, 41-34. UNCG kept the game in single digits until 9:44 left in the game when Rena Wakama hit a lay-up to make the score 51-40.
UNCG would slice the Catamount lead to single digits one more time in the game, 51-42, when Whitney Coleman hit a lay-up at 9:16. Campbell answered with her third three pointer of the game pushing the Western Carolina lead back to double digits, 54-42, and the Spartans would never cut the WCU lead to single digits again.
Campbell's three-pointer sparked a 12-9 run by Western Carolina in the final nine minutes of the game to secure the win. UNCG began fouling WCU at with two minutes left and the Catamounts were 7-of-8 from the free throw line.
Western Carolina ripped down 44 rebounds to UNCG's 42 holding the Spartans to 15 offensive boards and the Catamounts getting 23 defensive rebounds. Another key state was UNCG's 24 trips to the free throw line only hitting 14.
Senior guard Rena Wakama added 11 points for the Catamounts, the only other player for Western Carolina to score in double figures. Also, all 13 eligible Catamount players saw action in the game with 10 of the 13 scoring.
Lucy Mason led UNCG with 13 points and Janae' Stevenson had 10 rebounds.
Western Carolina hits the road Saturday facing Davidson in the Southern Conference Game of the Week with the contest appearing on ESPN3. Tip time is set for 4 p.m. in the team's final trip to the Wildcats with Davidson departing the conference after the end of the season.