Senior guard Kaila'Shea Menendez's clutch field goal, with 47 seconds left, clinched the game for WCU.
Nov. 26, 2011
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Western Carolina women's basketball (4-2) came from behind to defeat Tennessee Tech (2-4) 61-58 Saturday at the Eblen Center.
Kaila'Shea Menedez hit a clutch field goal, with 57 seconds left in the game, to give Western Carolina its largest lead of the game, five, 61-56. It was a fortuitous bucket as Tennessee Tech's Krystal Stirrup hit a jumper, with 33 seconds left, to trim the Catamount lead to three, 61-58.
Western Carolina got the ball back with 29 seconds left, but WCU forward Alex Abraham was called for a foul to give the ball back to Tennessee Tech. With eight seconds left, the Catamount defense worried, stressed and befuddled the Golden Eagle offense and Diamond Henderson forced up a hap-hazard three point attempt that was short as time expired.
Tennessee Tech lead Western Carolina from 17:29 left in the first half until 8:51 left in the second half when the Catamounts' Janae McKinney hit a lay-up giving WCU a one-point advantage, 51-50.
The Catamounts trailed as much as 11 points, with 4:57 left in the first half, before they kicked their offense in gear. Western Carolina went on an 11-0 run to tie the game at 25 with 3:21 left. The run was sandwiched by a pair of three pointers by Rena Wakama, who started the run with a trey, and Kaila'Shea Menendez.
After being held scoreless for almost two minutes, Tennessee Tech re-took the lead after WCU tied it, off a pair of free throws by Molly Heady. Kristen Lyon tied it again for the Catamounts with a field goal at the 3:04 mark.
Tennessee Tech pushed its lead back up to three, 36-33, when the Golden Eagles' Diamond Henderson nailed her third three-pointer of the game. Lyon pulled the Catamounts within two points, just before halftime, when she hit 1-of-2 free throws.
Menendez and Abraham led Western Carolina with 12 points a piece. Western Carolina pulled down 40 rebounds to Tennessee Tech's 34.
Western Carolina returns home at 7 p.m. Tuesday to host Georgia State.