Lady Eagles Brave Winter Storm for 74-61 SoCon Win Over Western Carolina
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - As the snow accumulated to seven inches outside the confines of the Ramsey Activity Center, the Lady Eagles and Western Carolina Catamounts battled it out for a Southern Conference victory inside Saturday afternoon (Jan. 30). Moving the game up one hour to escape the second round of weather, the Lady Eagles shot 10-of-12 from the free throw line down the stretch to defeat the Catamounts, 74-61. GS improved to 12-9 overall and 7-5 in league play. WCU, meanwhile, dropped to 3-17, 2-9.
"The team's focus was far better than expected with the adversity of the trip," said Lady Eagle head coach Rusty Cram. "I thought the team excelled when they had every excuse not to.
"I thought Carolyn [Whitney] played outstanding as did Jamie [Navarro] and Krista [Tate]. It was really a team effort this afternoon and it's a great day to be a Lady Eagle."
A combined offensive effort from several Lady Eagles, including three in double figures, secured the win. Carolyn Whitney (Duluth, Ga.) led all scorers with 17 points. Jamie Navarro (Naples, Fla.) and Krista Tate (Atlanta, Ga.) followed with 13 and 12 points, respectively, for GS. The Lady Eagles won the rebounding edge, 37-30, led by J'Lisia Ogburn's (Dublin, Ga.) eight. Navarro picked up three of Georgia Southern's six steals in the game, while also tallying a block. Tate dished out four helpers, tying her career-high in assists.
Kaila'Shea Menendez paced the Catamount offense, chipping in 15 points, while Emily Clarke, who averages 18 points per game, followed with 13. Clarke, the Catamounts leading scorer on the season, was held scoreless in the first half.
WCU evenly distributed its defensive effort with Janae McKinney leading with five rebounds and three players tying with four each.
Both teams struggled offensively to start the game as the lead was tossed back and forth before a Navarro three-pointer and Tate jumper gave the Lady Eagles a 9-6 lead with 15:39 in the first. Two Georgia Southern buckets between the first and second media timeouts would be the only points scored in the three minute period as the Lady Eagles took a 14-8 lead with 11:37 on the clock. Caitlin Hollifield connected on an old-fashioned three-point play for the Catamounts, bringing the score to five points, 16-11, before Menendez pulled the tally to three, 16-13.
Tate and Ogburn combined for five points for a 23-15 GS lead as time wound down in the opening frame. Whitney nailed her second trey of the contest at the 5:18 marker pushing the score out to 26-17 GS as Meredyth Frye (Fredericksburg, Va.) closed out the half with a two consecutive buckets for 32-21 halftime score.
To start the final 20 minutes, a pair of free throws from Navarro extended GS's lead to 38-26 with 16:03 on the clock before Whitney gave the Lady Eagles their largest lead of the game, 41-28, draining her third trey of the game. Menendez put together a personal 5-0 run with a three-point play on a Janay Wilson (Warner Robins, Ga.) foul and fastbreak lay-up, pulling Western Carolina to 51-40 with 10:45 left in the game.
Janae McKinney would cut the lead to single digits with a pair of free throws with just over 10 minutes to play. The Catamounts sliced the lead to seven, but GS strengthened its offensive effort, widening its lead back out to 13 (59-46) with a Tate visit to the charity stripe. WCU kept close, closing in to single digits and getting as close as seven again, but GS went 10-of-12 from the charity stripe in the closing two minutes for a final score of 74-61.
With a bye on Monday night, Georgia Southern returns to the court playing host to Western Carolina, Wednesday, February 3 at 5 p.m. in Hanner Fieldhouse. Head coach Rusty Cram and Georgia Southern Radio Network's Ryan Chambers will broadcast "Inside Georgia Southern Lady Eagle Basketball" live from Locos Grill & Pub Tuesday night, February 2 at 6 p.m.
- Category: Women's Basketball
- Published on Saturday, 30 January 2010 16:49