ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Brittany Gwyn and Paige Love combined for 33 points to lead UNC Asheville to a 71-63 victory over Eastern Kentucky at Kimmel Arena Saturday night at Kimmel Arena.
Gwyn scored 17 points and was 8-of-8 from the free throw line, while Love added 17 points and seven rebounds to pace the Bulldogs to their second win of the year.
Freshman Tianna Knuckles chipped in 11 points. Ja’Da Brayboy finished with nine points.
The Lady Colonels were led by Marie Carpenter with 14 points. Carpenter was averaging 31.0 points per game entering the game but an aggressive Asheville defense held the senior guard to 4-of-16 shooting from the field.
Asheville built a 13-point lead midway through the second half. EKU trimmed the lead to three at 56-53 with 6:30 left. The Bulldogs scored the next six points to build a nine-point lead and the Lady Colonels could get no closer than six the rest of the game.
Asheville went 17-of-20 from the free throw line in the second half to keep the Lady Colonels at bay. The Bulldogs’ defense limited EKU to just .345 (10-of-29) shooting from the field in the second half.
The home team out-rebounded EKU, 43-31. Jeannie Buckner also had seven points for Asheville.
The first half featured three ties and three lead changes as Asheville overcame an early seven-point EKU lead.
The Bulldogs trailed 31-28 but scored the final seven points of the half to race to a 35-31 halftime lead. Gwyn’s long 3-pointer tied the game at 31-31 before a lay-up from Ja’Da Brayboy pushed the home team in front 33-31. Asheville forced a steal with the visitors playing for one shot as Love scored a lay-up on a nice pass from Brayboy as the first half ended to put the Bulldogs in front 35-31.
Asheville shot a season-high .483 (14-of-29) from the field in the opening half, while EKU shot .467 (14-of-30). The Bulldogs held a 23-14 edge on the boards.
UNC Asheville plays next at mountain rival Western Carolina Wednesday night at 7 p.m.