ASHEVILLE, N.C. (SoCon Sports) – No. 4 UNCG jumped out to an early lead over top-seeded Wofford, but the Terriers rode a strong second half to a 68-63 win in the semifinal round of the 2023 Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Championship at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville.
UNCG took control early with a 6-1 run, but Wofford scored the next five to tie the game. The Spartans rallied off another run to push their lead to five late in the quarter before the Terriers converted a turnover into a bucket to cut the deficit to three.
Both teams traded 3-pointers before Wofford’s Jackie Carman hit a turnaround jumper to pull back within one. UNCG connected on the next three shots to take a nine-point lead, but once again Wofford stormed back to make it a one-point game at the half. UNCG’s Faith Price led all players with 12 points, including 10 in the second quarter. Wofford’s Annabelle Schultz paced her squad with 10 points in the half.
UNCG started hot again with a 6-0 run to start the half, forcing the Terriers to take an early timeout. After trailing by as much as seven, Wofford erupted for a 19-0 run to close out the third quarter and take the lead, highlighted by a trio of 3-pointers by Lilly Hatton. The Terriers continued their momentum into the fourth quarter, stretching the lead to as much as 15 but the Spartans would not go away. UNCG scored seven unanswered to cut the deficit to just five with one minute to play, but Wofford would hold on for the win.
Hatton and Shultz led a quartet of Terriers in double figures as both notched 17 points. Hatton hit five of her six baskets from beyond the arc, including three in the third quarter. Rachel Rose scored 15 points, with Rose and Schultz both leading the team with seven steals each. Carman was the final Terrier to reach double figures at 12 points. UNCG’s Price led all players with 23 points and Isys Grady chipped in with 16 points. The Spartans’ Antoniette Emma-Nnopu led all players with nine rebounds, while Akira Wiggins paced the field with nine assists. The Terriers took advantage of winning the turnover battle 22-8, converting those takeaways into 28 points compared to 11 for UNCG. The Spartans controlled the glass, taking a 38-26 advantage in rebounds.
RECORDS: No. 1 Wofford 22-8 | No. 4 UNCG 16-14
STATS TO KNOW
– Wofford’s 22 caused turnovers were its most against a Division I opponent this season, while the 15 steals was the highest mark against Division I competition since the 2015-16 season.
– Rose hit double figures for the 17th consecutive game and 28th time this season.
– The seven steals by Rose and Schultz were the highest mark by a Terrier this season and most since 2014-15.
– Price’s 23-point performance was her second 20-point game of the season and fourth of her career.
2023 Ingles Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Championship
Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville, Asheville, N.C.
Thursday, March 2
Game 1 – No. 1 Wofford 71, No. 8 Western Carolina 56
Game 2 – No. 4 UNCG 63, No. 5 Mercer 59
Game 3 – No. 2 Chattanooga 63, No. 7 Furman 52
Game 4 – No. 3 ETSU 63, No. 6 Samford 47
Friday, March 3
Game 5 – No. 1 Wofford 68, No. 4 UNCG 63
Game 6 – No. 2 Chattanooga vs. No. 3 ETSU, 1:15 p.m. ^
Sunday, March 5
Game 7 – No. 1 Wofford vs. Game 6 winner, 12 p.m.
NOTE: All times Eastern. All games to be broadcast on ESPN+, with the championship game also on Nexstar.
* Tip-off as part of Education Day program on March 2 and March 3.
^ Denotes approximate game time. The first games both days will have a firm start time. Each game thereafter will start 30 minutes following the conclusion of the preceding game but will not start prior to the listed time.