GREENSBORO, N.C. – Kendra Smith and Lakiah Hyson hit 3-pointers just seven seconds apart in a frenetic final minute to pull UNC Greensboro to within two points, but the Spartans’ last-second shot went begging as Charleston Southern hung on for a 56-54 win Tuesday.
With UNCG (1-5) trailing 56-48 with less than a minute to go, Smith drained a 3 to cut CSU’s lead to five points with 47 seconds to play. Smith then stole the ball on the ensuing in-bounds play and kicked the ball out to freshman Brey Dorsett, who found Hyson alone in front of UNCG’s bench. The senior captain calmly drained her third triple of the night to make it a one-possession game with 40 ticks left on the clock.
After Charleston Southern (4-3) called a timeout, the Buccaneers’ Helen Terry – a Greensboro native(Dudley HS) – was called for a travel with 10.8 seconds left in the game.
The Spartans called a timeout of their own, and Hyson brought the ball up-court with the game in the balance. Hyson got the ball to Dorsett on the wing, but Dorsett’s shot went off the back of the rim just before the buzzer sounded.
The entertaining finish was in stark contrast to the rest of the second half, which saw UNCG shoot just 22.6 percent (7-for-31) and CSU shoot 32 percent (8-for-25). The Bucs opened the second half on a 16-0 run to turn a six-point halftime deficit into a 10-point second-half lead, and nearly 11 minutes had passed before Amanda Leigh’s jumper provided UNCG with its first points of the second frame.
Charleston Southern’s Katie Tull got the big run started with back-to-back 3s out of the locker room to quickly tie the game at 36 with 19:20 to play.
The Bucs would twice get their lead up to 11 before the Spartans started to chip away. After a pair of Lydia Johnson free throws made it a 53-42 game with 3:47 to play, Dorsett drained a 3-pointer to get the deficit back to single digits.
After Dorsett drew an offensive foul to get the ball back for UNCG, Monique Floyd followed with a layup to make it a 53-47 contest with 2:42 left. Dorsett hit the second of two free throw attempts to cut it to five, but Ali Schwagmeyer’s layup pushed CSU back ahead by seven at 55-48 to set up the exciting final minute of play.
The Spartans turned in an impressive first half, shooting 51.9 percent (14-for-27) from the floor to build their six-point lead. A Terry triple gave the visitors a 29-25 advantage with 3:21 to play before intermission, but Hyson answered with a jumper and a pair of 3s and Floyd hit three out of four free throw attempts in an 11-0 run that put the Spartans on top. LeChell Rush hit the back end of a two-shot foul just before halftime as UNCG took a 36-30 lead into the locker room.
Tull finished with a game-high 22 points for the Bucs, while Hyson had a season-high 13 to lead UNCG.
UNCG forced 26 turnovers on the evening, including five in the final 3:33 of the game.
The win was CSU’s first against the Spartans in 15 tries. UNCG had been 14-0 in the series, which dates back to the 1989-90 season.
The Spartans will look to snap their five-game losing streak on Saturday, when they open Southern Conference play at College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C. Opening tip is set for 6 p.m.
CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 56, UNC GREENSBORO 54
CHARLESTON SOUTHERN (4-3)
Katie Tull 6-12 5-7 22; Ali Schwagmeyer 4-10 0-1 8; LeChell Rush 2-2 3-5 7; Kelsey Wasmer 2-8 0-0 6; Helen Terry 2-8 0-0 5; Lydia Johnson 1-1 3-5 5; Tina Decarvalho 1-4 0-0 3; Danielle Gibson 0-0 0-0 0; Shay Jones 0-3 0-0 0; Lakeitha Alston 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 18-51 11-18 56.
UNC GREENSBORO (1-5)
Lakiah Hyson 5-12 0-0 13; Monique Floyd 3-7 3-4 9; Amanda Leigh 3-10 0-0 7; Brey Dorsett 2-8 1-2 6; Agne Girstautaite 3-4 0-0 6; Kendra Smith 2-8 0-0 5; Amy Clapper 2-4 0-0 4; Sarah Folwell 0-2 2-2 2; Dayshaun Richbow 1-2 0-1 2; TaShama Banner 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-58 6-9 54.
Charleston Southern 30 26 56
UNC Greensboro 36 18 54
3-point goals–Charleston Southern 9-32 (Katie Tull 5-11; Kelsey Wasmer 2-8; Tina Decarvalho 1-4; Helen Terry 1-5; Shay Jones 0-3; Ali Schwagmeyer 0-1), UNC Greensboro 6-19 (Lakiah Hyson 3-4; Brey Dorsett 1-5; Kendra Smith 1-2; Amanda Leigh 1-6; Sarah Folwell 0-1; Amy Clapper 0-1). Fouled out–Charleston Southern-None, UNC Greensboro-Agne Girstautaite. Rebounds–Charleston Southern 39 (Ali Schwagmeyer 9), UNC Greensboro 36 (Dayshaun Richbow 6). Assists–Charleston Southern 10 (Helen Terry 4), UNC Greensboro 14 (Amanda Leigh 4). Total fouls–Charleston Southern 15, UNC Greensboro 22. Technical fouls–Charleston Southern-None, UNC Greensboro-None. A-305
– UNCG –