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Courtesy: UNC Asheville
Miracle in Myrtle Beach; Women's Hoops Edges Radford 43-42 on Jones Bucket
Courtesy: UNCABulldogs.com
Release: 03/04/2014
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Shonese Jones scored as time expired as UNC Asheville rallied past Radford Tuesday afternoon, 43-42 in the first round of the VisitMyrtleBeach.com Big South Conference basketball championship at Coastal Carolina.

 

The win by the Bulldogs (11-19) sends them into the quarterfinals against top-seeded High Point Thursday afternoon at Noon. 

 

Asheville trailed 42-41 when Radford's Kierra McIvor was fouled with 9.6 seconds left. She missed the front end of a one-and-one. Jeannie Buckner pulled down the rebound for Asheville.

 

The Bulldogs quickly got the ball to Jones who missed on a drive to the basket with four seconds left. Leah Wormack rebounded and missed but the ball came back to Jones. The junior guard tapped put the ball into the basket as the buzzer sounded to give Asheville the incredible win.

 

“I missed the first shot and I was down on the ground. I told myself I had to get to get up,” explained Jones. “I saw the ball and got it and was able to get the shot off.”

 

It was the Bulldogs first tournament win since the championship game of the 2007 Big South Conference tournament in Asheville and ended a six-game tourney losing streak.  

 

The only time the Bulldogs led was at the end of the game. Asheville shot just .246 (16-of-65) from the field, .286 (6-of-21) from the three-point line and a season-low .385 (5-of-13) from the free throw line.

 

“I’m really proud of our team today,” stated Asheville coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick. “We grinded this one out and beat a well-coached Radford team today.

 

“Obviously when you shoot 24 percent from the field and win you’re fortunate,” added Kirkpatrick. “But we kept battling and did some other things well on defense and rebounding to get the job done.”

 

Asheville was led in scoring by Tianna Knuckles with 11 points. Jones added nine points. Jeannie Buckner came up huge for the Bulldogs with six points and seven rebounds. She hit two late treys to allow the Bulldogs to rally

 

“I’m really happy for Jeannie Buckner,” commented Kirkpatrick. “She’s worked so hard and she shoots more three-pointers from the corner than anybody on the team. Jeannie hit two big shots and got some huge rebounds both on offense and defense.”

 

Radford led by 12 halfway through the second half and got a three-pointer from Ayana Avery with 2:52 left to lead 42-36.

 

But Buckner sank a long trey from the left corner to narrow the lead at 42-39.

 

Asheville stopped the Highlanders on their next two possessions but could not score to get closer. Finally, Leah Wormack took a pass from Brittany Gwyn at the 16-second mark and scored on an inside bucket to cut the lead to 42-41.

 

The only time the Bulldogs led was at the end of the game. Asheville shot just .246 (16-of-65) from the field, .286 (6-of-21) from the three-point line and a season-low .385 (5-of-13) from the free throw line.

 

Asheville was ice cold from the field to start the game as the Highlanders led 8-2 after seven minutes. The Bulldogs were 1-of-11 to start the game.

 

RU built a 19-10 lead on a lay-up from Kermisha Clark at the 6:01 mark before Asheville rallied to close the gap. The Bulldogs finished the half on a 12-4 run to close to 23-21 at halftime. Wormack scored two baskets in the final minute to play to get Asheville within two at intermission.

 

The Bulldogs shot 27 percent (8-of30) from the field in the opening half. Asheville forced seven RU turnovers that produced seven points.

 

In the second half, the Bulldogs stayed ice cold from the field as RU led 39-27 on a Rachel Ross lay-up at the 9:04 mark.

 

But Asheville would allow Radford to score three points the rest of the game. The Bulldogs scored the next seven points over the next six minutes to close to 39-36 on a jumper from Jones at the 3:49 mark.

 

The Bulldogs enjoyed a 47-44 advantage on the boards and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds to just six for RU. Asheville had just nine turnovers. Wormack, who missed the last two games due to a hand injury, had six points and seven rebounds.

 

BULLDOG NOTES

 

Asheville is 4-6 vs. Radford in Big South Tournament play…the Bulldogs are 5-2 in games decided by five points or less…Asheville lost twice to High Point this season by five and seven points…Tianna Knuckles scored in double figures for the 13th time this year…Asheville won for the first time this season scoring below 50 points as the Bulldogs are now 1-4.

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