UNCG Women’s Basketball: The Relentless Spartans

PC: UNCG Athletics

Monique Williams
Staff Writer

It’s no secret that the Spartans have struggled since the Winter Break. They have accumulated four consecutive losses since December 29.  

Before starting their three-game road trip, the Spartans suffered a loss at home against Coastal Carolina. They fell 78-71 in overtime. The Spartans converted on offense late in the fourth quarter, but Coastal Carolina was also able to convert, forcing overtime.

From there, Coastal went on a 10-0 run to defeat the Spartans. The Spartans tried to rally, but it was too little, too late. Although the Spartans didn’t walk away with the win, their players definitely put on a show.

One such player was Aja Boyd. The sophomore forward recorded a game-high 14 rebounds to go along with 17 points. Nadine Soliman poured a game-high 22 points, adding seven assists, as well.

After a loss at home to CCU, the Spartans headed for the road, looking to bounce back. They began their road trip on January 2 against Richmond.

It was a back-and-forth affair, with multiple score changes and ties. Richmond ultimately stretched their lead to ten in the third, but the Spartans cut that deficit to two by the beginning of the final period. Unfortunately, Richmond was able to pull away by scoring 17 points in the fourth period.

That wrapped up the Spartans’ non-conference schedule. To begin Southern Conference play, the Spartans faced Furman, a SoCon rival.

In this game, Nadine Soliman scored a game-high 26 points. Despite her efforts, the Spartans fell to Furman. The Paladins held the lead for the majority of the game, but the Spartans chipped away at that lead, cutting it just to two midway through the fourth. Furman then went on a late run and eventually pulled away from the Spartans, 64-61.

To close out the three-game road trip, the Spartans faced off against another SoCon opponent in Wofford.

Wofford controlled the game from the start, opening up an 8-3 lead in the first quarter. The Terriers never trailed. UNCG later attempted to cut into the lead, but Wofford kept their foot on the gas. Soliman accumulated 20 points & CeCe Crudup added 16 points, but despite their efforts, Wofford easily prevailed. They obliterated the Spartans by 27 points, 93-66.

After a tough trip on the road, the Spartans returned home to play Samford on Thursday night. What looked like a sixth consecutive loss turned out to be a thrilling win for the women’s basketball team.

The Spartans trailed Samford for most of the game and turned the ball over 17 times. Despite those 17 turnovers, the ladies picked up the energy in the fourth period, when it was most needed.

With Samford up 53-49 with only 90 seconds left, The Carolinian’s own Alexis Pitchford drove into the lane and laid it in to make it 53-51. After a crucial stop, Soliman scored on a layup with 16 seconds left to tie the game at 53.

UNCG then sent Samford to the line, which made one of two free throws. With 2.6 seconds left, Aja Boyd delivered the game winning basket for UNCG.

The Carolinian spoke with Nadine Soliman after the game. Soliman spoke on their recent struggles, saying that the win boosted their confidence.

“It feels great,” Soliman said. “We really needed that win to make us forget about the past… We just need to punch and punch and keep winning.”

After enduring multiple consecutive losses, many teams would have completely lost motivation, but UNCG refused to accept defeat.

The energy in the building was electrifying. Every player gave an immense amount of effort. The win was very much needed, but the Spartans aren’t stopping here. They will look to use this win to build momentum towards achieving their ultimate goal: winning the Southern Conference.

The Spartans continued their battle against SoCon opponents with Mercer last Saturday. Unfortunately, after a great win at home against Samford, the Spartans fell against Mercer;  71-58.

UNCG Women’s Basketball is back at home next week to face Western Carolina on Saturday, Jan 26.

Categories: Sports

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