Dec. 4, 2004
Asheville, N.C. -
Despite a feverish 26-9 second half rally, the Western Carolina Lady Catamounts could not overcome the Bulldog's 18-point advantage and 67-percent 3-point field goal shooting in the final half, falling to UNC Asheville 83-72 in the opening game of the fifth-annual Mountain Hoops Classic.
The loss was Western's second on the season, and the second in a row to the mountain-rival, UNCA.
Western (4-2) was led by a trio of freshmen, each tallying 11 points. Guards Monique Dawson and Leah Barrier, as well as center Jessika Johnson were the only Lady Catamounts to score in double figures, with Johnson and Barrier registering nine of their 11 in the second half.
The Lady Catamounts' starting five were limited to 20 total points, paced by senior Shaketia Barnes with eight and Lori Tanner with six.
After jumping out to a 5-0 lead on a Barnes' 3-pointer and a Sigita Maleraite lay-up, UNCA answered with a 7-0 run to take the lead. The Cats and `Dogs battled back and forth, tying the game eight different times through the first 12 minutes, the last occasion coming at the 8:17 mark of the first half.
UNC Asheville went on yet another 7-0 spurt to take a 23-21 advantage, then proceeded to stretch the advantage to as many as 10 before and at the break.
In the second, UNCA grew the lead to 18 a mere four minutes in, holding Western scoreless during that span on 0-for-4 shooting with five WCU turnovers. However, as it had done each of the past four games, Western mounted comeback on a 26-9 rally over the next eight minutes to pull to within one at 60-59. That's as close as the Lady Cats could get, however, as WCU came up empty on each occasion it was presented to jump on top.
Western returns to action this Monday night as they open Southern Conference play by hosting arch-rival Appalachian State at 7:00 pm at the Ramsey Activity Center.