GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG women’s basketball maintained their three-game winning streak at home in spectacular fashion by beating UNC Pembroke 72 – 32 on Sunday afternoon. This brings UNCG’s streak to a four-game streak winning at home. The game tipped off at 2pm on Sunday, with a fairly scarce yet energetic crowd looking for a Spartan win. Whilst there were 197 people there, according to UNCG, Fleming Gymnasium can hold up to 2,320 people, so with less than ten percent of the seats filled, it felt empty.
The first period was the least close of the period between the Braves and the Spartans. UNCG truly had the height advantage over UNC Pembroke. Notably, junior Nadine Soliman of Cairo, Egypt dominated the court whenever she was on. She defended well and attacked even better than she defended. Alexus Willey, also a junior, held up extremely well in the attacking and defending portion of the game. By then end of the first period, it was clear that UNC Pembroke was not going to win this game without a significant struggle. They were trailing a not-unwinnable 15 points behind, with the score at 23-8 when the buzzer sounded.
UNCG came on strong again in the second period, and extended their lead on the Braves further by 13 points. The Braves, again, scored only eight points in the second period. This gave UNCG a 13 point lead, and if UNCP had been so inspired – as they so closely were in the second period – they could have made up the lost ground. The issue of height for UNCP became excruciatingly apparent – as it did to the Spartans. With the Spartans’ shortest player being 5’6 (The Carolinian’s very own Alexis Pitchford) and the Braves’ shortest player being 5’4, UNCG secured significantly more rebounds than the Braves. To compound that issue, the Braves could not score off many of their rebounds, while the Spartans managed 16 points off their 10 boards.
The third period was very much like the second, except that the Spartans scored a further 18 points, and the Braves managed to only score another eight. This moved the scoreboard up to a Spartan lead of 52 over the Braves 18. At this point, it was becoming increasingly clear to the Braves that they were not going to win this game without significantly more effort than what they were putting in. This effort did not come in the fourth period. In fact, the frustration of being unable to score was becoming prevalent in the third period but even more so in the fourth period. Many a time would a Brave attempt to physically force her way to the lay-up, or to counter a Spartan shot or layup. This resulted in quite a lot of technical fouls, and at one point what looked like quite a nasty fall for one of the Spartans.
The fourth period came and the scoresheet looked the same as it did in the third period. The Spartans scored 18, and the Braves only managed another eight. The most notable player of the game was Nadine Soliman. She attempted 14 three-pointers and managed seven of them. She was quick on the layup and she was good at boxing out the Braves, using the perimeter to her advantage as well as her superior height. Overall, it was an excellent effort by the Braves, but it wasn’t quite enough to secure a victory over the Spartans. The Spartans next play at High Point University on Saturday at 5pm.
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