Feb. 21, 2011
Middleton Post-Game Comments (AUDIO)
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Western Carolina women's basketball (8-20, 6-13 Southern Conference) had three players score in double figure to help the Catamounts escape at Wofford (7-20, 3-16 SoCon) with a 68-58 win Monday in Benjamin Johnson Arena.
Junior guard Kaila'Shea Menendez led all scorers with 19 points, earning 10 of her points from the charity stripe. Menendez was 4-of-4 from the charity stripe in the final 46 seconds of the game to keep Wofford out of the game. Menendez also added three blocks to her stat line.
In fact it was Menendez that took some of the air, and momentum, out of Wofford. With 3:12 left after the Terriers' Rachel Brittenham drained a pair of free throws to cut the Catamount lead to six points, 53-47. It looked the game was swinging in Wofford's favor, but Menendez sliced in for a lay-up and was fouled. She it her free throw and pushed the Catamount lead back to nine, 56-47.
Menendez's three point play turned out to be the dagger shot for Western Carolina. In the final three minutes, Menendez converted on her second three-point play in a 20 span and pushed the Catamount lead to 12, 59-47.
Western Carolina was 7-of-8 from the free throw line in the last two minutes of the game to squelch the Terriers continuous comeback attempts. Wofford's Kelly Blake tried to make it interesting hitting a three pointer, with 22 seconds left, to trim the Catamount lead to eight, 66-58, but Menendez hit four three throws to turn Wofford back.
The Catamounts never trailed in the game, and seemed to built a nice lead in the first half, leading by 12, 20-8, in the first 10 minutes. Wofford battled back, as they would attempt all night on Senior Day. The Terriers went on a 15-6 tear in a seven minute span to cut the WCU lead to three, 26-23, with three minutes left in the half. A free throw by Hunniuctt pushed the Catamount lead to three and freshman point guard Rena Wakama drained a three pointer, at the buzzer, to give Western Carolina a 30-23 lead at the half.
Western Carolina scored the first eight points of the second half to push its lead to double figures again, 38-25, with 16:52. Wofford battled for the rest of the second half, and even had the Catamount lead to three points, 45-42, with 6:06, when Menendez answered with a pair of free throws. Wofford would never cut the Catamount lead below six the remainder of the game.
Junior Caitlin Hollifield added 14 points in the game and also had three steals. Emily Clarke had 11 points and added four steals.
Western Carolina had 51 rebounds, 33 on the defensive end, to Wofford's 29. The Catamounts had 14 steals in the contest and Wofford had 19. The Terrier's Brittenham led the team with 16 points and also had 12 steals.
The Catamounts host their final home game of the season, against Chattanooga, Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Ramsey Center. Seniors Clarke and Kendra Carroll will be honored prior to the game.