ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Senior forward Kelli Riles pulled down her first double-double of the season and Shonese Jones scored in double figures for the ninth consecutive game, but the UNC Asheville women’s basketball team could not overcome 26 turnovers as they fell to Wofford, 58-54, at Kimmel Arena on Thursday evening.
Riles scored a team-high 13 points and 20 rebounds in the contest, with Jones chipping in 11 points to the Asheville total. Jones also tallied three assists and two steals, as the Bulldogs drop to 0-2 on the young season.
“We didn’t play well, but we played hard,” said Asheville head coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick. “You can’t play a good game committing 26 turnovers, but I thought we did a good job of holding Wofford to 58 points. We’ve just got to execute better offensively.
Wofford (2-1) was paced by Morgan Wrightson, who recorded a game-best 16 points. Rachel Brittenham scored 11 and Logan Morris scored 10, with Daniella Motley chipping in 11 rebounds to lead all Terriers.
Brittenham also had a team-high two blocks in the contest.
For the second time this season the Bulldogs took a lead into halftime, with Jeannie Buckner hitting a 3-pointer to cap off a 9-0 run to end the frame. Asheville led 33-27 at the half.
The second half saw the Terriers go on a 13-6 run over the first five minutes, with Michelle Merritt giving Wofford the lead, 40-39, with a layup with 15:10 to go in the game.
“Their pressure caught us off guard in the second half,” said Kirkpatrick. “They took away our first option and it took us a while to start looking for our second and third.”
The Bulldog fought back over the next 10 minutes, tying the game at 46-46 on a Gentry Manley free throw with 6:42 to go. However, the Terriers responded with a 10-4 run over the next four minutes, eventually winning the game by four.
UNC Asheville will be back in action on Saturday afternoon, when the Bulldogs hit the road to take on Eastern Kentucky out of the Ohio Valley Conference. Opening tip is set for 2 p.m. on the campus of the Lady Colonels (2-0.)