UNCG Women’s Basketball Edges Mercer in SoCon Opener:Faith Price(Ragsdale HS) leads the Spartans with 18 pts./3 steals

UNCG Women’s Basketball Edges Mercer in SoCon Opener

MACON, Ga. – The UNC Greensboro (UNCG) women’s basketball team came from behind for a 72-68 victory over the Mercer Bears to open Southern Conference (SoCon) play Thursday night at Hawkins Arena.

This is the first win for the Spartans against the Bears since UNCG won 75-73 in overtime in the SoCon Semifinal game on March 6, 2020.

The Spartans were up 4-2 with 6:04 left in the first quarter before the Bears’ offense took over with an 11-3 run, 13-7. UNCG’s three points came from Kennedy Simpson, who hit the first three for the Spartans at 1:53, which cut the deficit to two, 7-9.

Mercer opened the second quarter with six-straight points for a 10-point advantage, 19-9. The Bears extended their lead to 12 twice for their largest advantage of the game, the last being with 6:26 left in the frame, 23-11. UNCG responded with an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to three, 25-22, where Mercer missed some jumpers and turned the ball over benefitting the Spartans. Both teams continued to fight for possession as Mercer won the second quarter and went into the locker room with a seven-point lead, 34-27.

The Spartans came out into the third quarter and took its first lead of the game since the first quarter with 6:48 left in the frame, 40-39. A very back-and-forth remainder of the third quarter resulted in seven lead changes and three tied scores, including when the buzzer went off and Jordan Releford made a jumper with 17 seconds left in the frame for a 51-51 score.

UNCG kept the lead in the entire fourth quarter, growing its largest lead to five, six times. The Spartans outscored the Bears 21-17 in the final frame to claim victory, 72-68.

Faith Price(Ragsdale High School) who made four of the Spartans’ seven three pointers led the team with 18 points. She also had three steals.
Isys Grady was second on the team with 11 points, to match a season best.
She chipped in seven rebounds.
Khalis Cain registered nine points and nine rebounds. Her nine boards were a team high.
Akira Wiggins recorded a game-high five assists and added seven points.
This was the 13th game this season with 30 or more rebounds, fifth game with 40 or more boards.
UNCG’s 53.8-percent (7-for-13) shooting of three pointers is a season best.
UNCG outmatched Mercer in points in the paint, points off turnovers, second chance points, fast break points, and points from the bench.

“Our team’s chemistry is improving daily. Our focus on defense and rebounding in practice is manifesting. I am proud of a total team effort as we showed true grit tonight.”

UNCG: 8-7, 1-0 SoCon
Mercer: 4-10, 0-1 SoCon

The Spartans continue SoCon play traveling to Birmingham, Alabama to face Samford on Saturday with a 3 p.m. EST tip off.

Courtesy of Denise Archetto
Assistant Athletic Director For Strategic Communications
UNC Greensboro