SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Playing in their first road game of the 2013-14 season, the UNC Asheville women’s basketball team dropped a 67-55 decision to Southern Conference foe Wofford on Thursday evening at Johnson Arena, as the Terriers outscored the Bulldogs 40-24 in the second half to earn the win.
The game was a rematch with Wofford, with the Terriers earning a 58-54 victory over the Bulldogs on Nov. 15 at Kimmel Arena last season.
“Wofford played tough tonight and we didn’t do a good enough job of possessing the ball,” said Asheville head coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick. “We didn’t attack their zone defense like we did in practice, settling for 3-point attempts against it. We’ve got a lot to learn about going on the road and winning on someone else’s home court.”
With the setback the Bulldogs fall to 1-1 on the season while Wofford improves to 1-1.
Freshman Tianna Knuckles posted a career and team high in scoring with 12 points for the Blue & White, while junior Jeannie Buckner added 10 to the Bulldogs’ total. Sophomore Paige Love dished out four assists and Buckner pulled down a team-best seven rebounds.
Wofford was paced by Lauren Kirby, who scored 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting on the night. Logan Morris tallied 16 for the Black & Gold with fellow Terrier Chanel Stokes tallying 13. Morris also posted a game-high eight boards.
The two teams traded the lead back and forth in the early goings, until Wofford was able to build a 15-8 lead with just over 14 minutes to go in the first. At the second media timeout, Asheville had cut the lead to 20-15 thanks in part to layups by Love and Ja’Da Brayboy, followed by a big 3-pointer by Knuckles.
Asheville tied the game at 20-20 on a pair of made free throws by KJ Weaver at the 10:47 mark.
Both teams struggled offensively over the next four minutes, with neither team scoring until Rachel McGirt had a putback layup with 6:45 left. McGirt was fouled on the play, and put the Blue & White up 23-20 with the and-one free throw.
Asheville would build a slim lead heading into the final moments of the half, taking a 31-27 lead into the break. Knuckles led the way for the Bulldogs in the first with nine points.
Wofford came out of the break with a purpose, starting the frame on a 6-2 run to tie the game at 33 points apiece. The two teams traded buckets back and forth once again and were tied at 37 at the first media timeout of the second half.
The Terriers eventually took the lead 41-40 with just over 14 minutes to go in the game, but the Bulldogs went on a 5-0 run on a trey by Knuckles and a Tacey Trammell steal and layup to lead 45-41 at the 12:29 mark.
Wofford’s Morris tied the game at 47 on a layup with 9:34 to go, spurring on an 11-3 run over the next three minutes to give the Terriers a 56-50 lead with 4:49 in the contest.
The Terriers would extend their lead to 65-53 with 1:19 to go, eventually winning by the final of 67-55. Wofford outscored the Blue & White 20-8 to close out the game and hand the Bulldogs their first loss of the season.
The Bulldogs will be back in action on Saturday evening when they host non-conference foe Eastern Kentucky at Kimmel Arena. Opening tip is set for 7 p.m.