Dec. 1, 2012
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Western Carolina women's basketball opened Southern Conference play with a 47-44 victory over visiting UNCG (1-4, 0-1 SoCon) Saturday in the Ramsey Center to even its overall record to 3-3 and start 1-0 in conference.
The Catamounts have been relying on its stalwart defense in the opening salvo of the season and the pressure paid off against a scrappy Spartan team. Leading by one, 45-44, with 19 seconds remaining, Western Carolina benefitted from junior forward Shauna Terry's blocking prowess to stuff UNCG's attempt to re-claim the lead.
UNCG's Sidnei Harmon attempted a jumper, but Terry was there to block the ball. Freshman guard Lindsay Simpson picked up the rebound setting up a pair of free throws to ice the game. Junior guard Kristen Lyon was fouled by the Spartan's Breonna Patterson, near mid-court, and was sent to the free throw line for a one-and-one opportunity.
Western Carolina, as a team had struggled at the free throw line, hitting just 7-of-14, prior to Lyon going to the charity stripe. Lyon had no problems zeroing in on the basket, draining both free throws, to ice the game.
The Catamounts led at the half, 26-21, and enjoyed the scoring advantage over UNCG for most of the second half. The Spartans went on a 9-2 run, from the 7:33 mark to 2:34 remaining, to build a 44-41 lead over Western Carolina.
Western Carolina junior guard Ali Lane hit back-to-back jumpers to give the lead back to the Catamounts. Lane pulled WCU within one, 44-43, on a field goal with 2:06 remaining. After a steal by junior Alex Abraham, Lane gave the Catamounts the lead for good with she hit a bucket with 19 seconds left in the game. Lane finished the game with 11 points.
Western Carolina had a season-best 42 rebounds against UNCG, 32 on the defensive side. The Catamounts did commit 25 turnovers and UNCG capitalized scoring 23 points off Western Carolina miscues.
Redshirt senior Diamond Hunnicutt also had 11 points in the contest. It was the third time this season she has scored in double figures. Simpson continues to provide a spark off the bench for Western Carolina as she had six points and four rebounds in the contest.
Terry ripped down a career-high 13 rebounds, nine on the defensive glass. She also had a season-best four blocked shots in the contest. Terry now has 76 career blocks, ranking her fifth in the Catamount career record books. She needs seven blocks to move into fourth place.
Western Carolina hosts Elon at noon Monday as part of women's basketball's annual "Education Day" event, with over 800 area school children attending the game.