CONWAY, S.C. - The UNC Asheville women's basketball team battled hard for 40 minutes but just couldn't overcome a cold shooting day as the Bulldogs fell to Radford in the first round of the 2013 Big South Conference championships at the HTC Center Wednesday afternoon.
The Bulldogs conclude their season with a 2-28 overall record. Radford (15-13) advances to Friday's quarterfinals where the Highlanders face third-seeded Presbyterian College at 2 p.m.
Asheville was led by three players with eight points each in Gentry Manley, Jeannie Buckner and Grace Blaylock.
Radford was led by Diani Mason with 14 points, while Sarah Tabb chipped in 12 points and nine rebounds.
"I thought our kids played hard and they have done that every game this year. I can always rely on them to bring their effort," stated first-year Asheville coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick. "Radford's pressure bothered us. We didn't box out and they got some easy buckets. We really battled them in the second half. The story of the game was them setting the tone at the beginning."
In the first half, Radford jumped out to a 9-2 lead after four minutes before the Bulldogs settled down. Asheville's defense limited the Highlanders to just .371 (13-of-35) shooting from the field in the opening half.
But the Bulldogs were undone in the opening half to cold shooting and turnovers. Asheville shot .350 (7-of-20) from the field and has 12 turnovers. Radford outscored the Bulldogs, 17-4 on points off turnovers.
RU also used its height advantage to claim a 21-18 edge on the boards but had 11 offensive rebounds to five for Asheville.
Tabb led the Highlanders with eight points, while Buckhannon added seven points.
Buckner and Blaylock led Asheville with five points each. Manley grabbed five rebounds for the Bulldogs.
After leading 32-21 at the break, Radford extended the margin to 15 before the first media time out. Asheville closed to 46-39 when Manley made the second of two foul shots with 2:38 to play, but got no closer.
The Bulldogs shot just .182 (4-of-22) from the field in the second half and .262 (11-of-42) for the game.
Asheville senior Kelli Riles finished with seven points and three boards. She concluded her career with 1039 points and 1037 rebounds (3rd in Big South history).
Radford controlled the paint as it outscored the Bulldogs 32-12.
Manley led Asheville with eight rebounds, while Buckner had seven rebounds and four steals.