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Catamounts Fall 68-51 to Georgia Southern in First Round of SoCon Tourney

March 8, 2013

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. -The No. 9 seeded Western Carolina women's basketball (7-23) lost in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament 68-51 against No. 8 seed Georgia Southern (8-22) Friday in Kimmel Arena.

After trailing by as much as 11 with 10:39 left in the second half, Western Carolina battled to the very end but just couldn't seem to cut the Eagle lead below seven points. Georgia Southern enjoyed its largest lead of the game, to that point, with 10 plus minutes remaining when sophomore guard Makensey Campbelldrained a three pointer to trim the Eagle lead to 45-37.

The Eagles ballooned the lead to 13, 50-37, with 7:02 remaining when Western Carolina's mini run made the game very interesting. The Catamounts scored six unanswered points to slice the Eagle lead to 50-43. The 6-0 run by Western Carolina was orchestrated by a pair of freshman with Erika Joseph scoring four straight points and Lindsay Simpsontopping it off with two free throws.

Thrice more Western Carolina would get Georgia Southern's lead to seven but just couldn't seem to get below that mark. Kristen Lyonscored a lay-up with 2:31 left in the game to make the scored 56-47. In the final two minutes, the Eagles went on a 12-4 run to end the game.

Neither team had an offensive rhythm in the first half as both teams went on scoring droughts of seven plus minutes. After Catamount senior Janae' McKinneyhit the opening game field goal, Georgia Southern built an 8-2 lead scoring eight straight points.

Georgia Southern never relinquished its lead when it captured it early in the first half. Western Carolina did shave the Eagles lead to one, with seven minutes left in the first half, when junior guard Rena Wakam hit a field goal. A 16 to nine run by the Eagles to close out the first half gave them a 29-20 lead at the half.

Southern Conference All-Freshmen selection, and Franklin, N.C. native, Simpson led Western Carolina with 14 points. Lyon added 10. Meredyth Frye lead Georgia Southern with 22 points.