Dec. 4, 2013
CLINTON, S.C. - Western Carolina women's basketball (5-3) pushed its winning streak to five, defeating Presbyterian (1-6) 42-38 Wednesday in the Templeton Center.
The Catamounts were 5-of-6 from the free line, in the final 40 seconds of the game, to keep Presbyterian at bay. Leading by two, 38-36, junior guard Ali Lane was 4-for-4 from the charity stripe and Justin Taylor was 1-of-2 to ice the game.
The 42 points was the lowest scoring output of the season for Western Carolina and the 38 points allowed was also the lowest scored by an opponent this season. Both teams struggled from the field with WCU hitting 15 field goals to the Blue Hose 14.
Three-pointers and free throws were the difference in the game. After hitting just one three pointer in the first half, Western Carolina hit three treys in the final 20 minutes. Presbyterian had just one three pointer in the contest. At the charity stripe, Western Carolina hit 8-of-11 while Presbyterian connected on 9-of-13.
Western Carolina trailed 20-15 at the half. The Catamounts came out in the second half scoring five straight points to knot the game at 20. In the first five minutes of the second half, WCU outscored Presbyterian 10-4 to take its first lead of the game, 25-24, at the 14:50 mark.
Presbyterian would take its final lead of the game off a lay-up by Serece Smith with 14:07 remaining. Taylor answered with a lay-up of her own to give the Catamounts a 27-26 advantage and WCU would never trail in the game again.
Senior guard Rena Wakama'a three-pointer, with 9:08 left, gave Western Carolina its largest lead of the game, 36-28. Presbyterian scored five straight to trim the game to three, 36-33, with 7:43 left.
Neither team would score for the next four minutes. Western Carolina broke the scoring drought when senior forward Alex Abraham worked her way under the basket for the score at 3:13. Trailing by five, Presbyterian went 3-of-4 from the free throw line to make the score 38-36 with 45 seconds left. The Catamounts 5-of-6 free throw performance at the end of the game shelved the Blue Hose to end the game.
Taylor led the team with eight points and Hana Haden scored all seven of her points in the second half. It was Haden's field goal, after Taylor's pair of free throws that tied the game at 20 to open the second half.
Western Carolina held Presbyterian to 10 offensive rebounds but the Blue Hose out rebounded WCU 40-30. Smith, for Presbyterian, led all scorers with 13.
Western Carolina will take 12 days off before hosting Charleston Southern at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 in the Ramsey Center.