Nov. 20, 2012
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Three players scored in double figures as Western Carolina women's basketball (2-2) defeated North Carolina Central (0-4) 67-55 Tuesday in the Ramsey Center.
Sophomore Ali Lane and junior Rena Wakama each poured in 12 points and sophomore Makensey Campbell added 10 points in the win, marking the first time this season the Catamounts have had three players score in double figures. The 67 points is also the most points scored by Western Carolina this season. The Catamounts have also held each of its first four opponents under 60 points.
After a couple of lead changes, in a tight game, in the first 12 minutes, the game was tied at 21 with 5:22 left in the first half. Campbell drained a three pointer to give Western Carolina a 24-21 lead and started a 15-0 run by the Catamounts to close out the half.
North Carolina Central came out in the second half and seemed to find some rhythm. The Eagles cut the Catamount lead to 10, 39-29 on an 8-2 run to start the final 20 minutes. Western Carolina had an answer thanks to a jumper by redshirt senior Diamond Hunniuctt to push the Catamount lead back to 12, 41-29.
Western Carolina built its largest lead of the game of 18, 55-37 with 7:08 left thanks to another jumper by Hunnicutt. After Hunnicutt's bucket, Western Carolina hit a bit of an offensive lull affording North Carolina Central to claw back into the game, as the Eagles went on a 9-0 run to cut the Catamount lead to single digits, 55-46 with 3:56 left.
Alex Abraham hit a field goal to push the Catamount lead back to double digits, 11, 57-46. A pair of free throws by Eagles' Tiffany Gary again had the Western Carolina lead down to nine, 57-48. Catamount guard Ali Lane answered with a lay-up and it all but iced the game for Western Carolina.
In the final minute of the game, Western Carolina was 8-of-10 from the free throw line to seal the game. Lane pushed herself to double digit scoring by hitting 5-of-6 free throw attempts in the remaining 46 seconds of the game. Overall, Lane was 5-of-7 from the charity stripe.
Overall, Western Carolina was 12-of-20 from the free throw line and shot 47.2 percent from the field. North Carolina Central shot 51.2 percent from the field but was just 2-of-5 from the three point line while the Catamounts were 5-of-12 from behind the three-point stripe.
The Catamounts had just 10 turnovers in the game and forced North Carolina Central to give up the ball 19 times. Western Caroline just edged the Eagles in rebounding 27-26.
Lane not only tied for the lead in scoring, with 12, she also paced the team in rebounds with six. Campbell added three steals to her 10 points and Wakama also had two assists with her 12 points.
Western Carolina continues its four-game home stand at 7 p.m. November 27 when it hosts USC Upstate.