Feb. 21, 2009
Swayne and Harper Postgame on Catamount Tracks Podcast
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Heather Swayne drained a pair of free throws, with two seconds left, to lift Western Carolina women's basketball to a 56-52 upset victory over Chattanooga Saturday in the McKenzie Arena. The Lady Catamounts improve to 16-11 and 12-6 in the Southern Conference while Chattanooga falls to 20-8 and 16-3 in the SoCon.
Chattanooga had a chance to tie the game with four seconds left, when senior guard LaCondra Mason was fouled. Mason missed both free throws and Swayne ripped down the rebound, and was fouled, to place her on the line draining both free throws to ice the game.
Western Carolina didn't hit a field goal in the last four minutes of the game, but the Lady Catamounts kept their lead thanks to the free throw line. The club was 5-of-7 in the final four minutes to keep the Mocs at bay.
The Lady Catamounts led the entire game beginning with a lay-up by senior Lauren Powell to open the contest. The score was tied just once, when Chattanooga knotted the game at 12 thanks to a Jenaya Wade-Fray three-pointer with 11:57 left in the first.
Diamnond Hunnicutt drained a pair of free throws to give Western Carolina a 14-12 advantage and the Lady Catamounts never trailed in the contest again. WCU lead by six, 28-22, at the half.
Chattanooga opened the second half with a Shanara Hollinquest lay-up to cut WCU's lead to four, 28-24. Powell answered with a monster three-pointer to push the lead back to seven.
Powell's three-pointer was one of four dagger treys by Western Carolina, all in the second half. After Powell's three, Johnson followed with a long-ball of her own and then Swayne hit two in the contest.
Western Carolina built its largest lead of the contest, 13 points, when Brooke Johnson hit a lay-up, was fouled, and hit the bonus shot to lead 37-24 with 16:17 remaining.
Leading by 10, 49-39, with 7:34 left, Western Carolina had to weather a Chattanooga scoring flurry as the Mocs went on a 7-0 run to trim the Lady Catamount win to three, 49-46 with 4:49 left. Johnson halted the run by Chattanooga with a lay-up with 4:29 left, making the score 51-46, and Western Carolina held on down the stretch.
The Lady Catamounts went to the line just 12 times in the contest, in contrast to Chattanooga's 26 trips. Western Carolina made the most of its times at the line going 10-of-12 while the Mocs were 14-of-26.
Bench play was key for Western Carolina as well, as the Lady Catamounts got 29 points from its bench while Chattanooga only had one point. The club also won the rebounding battle against Chattanooga 46 to 33.
The win over Chattanooga is the 10th in school history in the two club's 66 meetings. It is also Head Coach Kellie Harper's third victory over Chattanooga and the second at the Mocs home arena with the last victory coming January 11, 2007 with a 80-72 overtime win.
Three Lady Catamounts scored in double figures and the team was paced by Swayne's season-high 13 points. Johnson and freshman Kaila'Shea Menendez each had 10 points.
Western Carolina completes its two game road swing at Samford. Tip time is set for 8 p.m.