After starting the season with a record of 6-1 away from the friendly confines of the Ramsey Center, garnering the title “Road Warriors,” the Lady Cats (10-14, 4-11 SoCon) since have gone 1-6 on the road, including a 95-55 loss to the Lady Eagles of Georgia Southern (18-6, 12-3 in SoCon) Monday night.
The loss was the biggest defeat this year for Western Carolina.
The Lady Eagles jumped on WCU early, taking a 12-2 lead to start the game. Georgia Southern kept the lead around ten points for most of the first half.
However, when junior Alie Rousseau nailed her second three pointer of the half at the 4:38 mark to give her team a 32-20 advantage, the Lady Cats wouldn’t cut the margin under double-digits the rest of the way. The Lady Eagles played tough defense the rest of the half to take a 44-30 lead into the locker room.
The second half didn’t get any better for the Lady Cats. Not only did the Lady Eagles turn up the defense, they seem to score at will after the intermission.
GSU increased their lead to 20 at the 16:19 mark off a Lauren Langley three-pointer. They increased it to 30 almost 10 minutes later on an Amy Krach 3-pointer, and finally stretched it to 40 off a three point play by Kristin Smithers.
The Lady Cats had trouble with Georgia Southern pressure defense most of the night and committed 25 turnovers, whereas the Lady Eagles committed a season-low 14. Georgia Southern also out-rebounded WCU, 42-35.
For the second straight game, Western Carolina only put one player in double-figures as junior Laura Echols scored 15 points and pulled down five rebounds. Freshman Janetta Heggins came off the bench and contributed with nine points.
April Fleck and Tiffany Hamm who both average double figure in scoring this season, combined for only 13 points on 5-of-21 shooting.
The Lady Eagles were led by junior Danna Simpson who scored a game-high 20 points while dishing off four assists. Junior Sarah McCary and senior Amy Krach each contributed with ten points a piece.
The Lady Cats made a trip to Chattanooga Saturday afternoon in hopes of continuing their two-game winning streak. However, the Lady Mocs put an end to that as they cruised to a 83-61 victory.
WCU had an early lead, but that didn’t last long as the Lady Mocs took the lead and never looked back. They jumped out to a comfortable lead and took a 41-23 lead into the locker room.
UTC didn’t let up in the second stanza. They built their lead up to 29 two different times in the half, the last at 58-29 with 14:21 to play.
Chattanooga forced 32 Lady Cat turnovers, while coming up with a season-high 24 steals. Eleven of the 12 Lady Mocs had at least one steal and also scored.
Echols, who was held scoreless for the first 25 minutes of the game, led the Cats with 14 points. She was the only player to notch double figures. Fleck chipped in with nine points and six boards.
The Lady Cats return to the Ramsey Center for their final three regular season games. They will do battle with the Lady Bucs of East Tennessee State Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. as part of a Catamount basketball doubleheader.
They will also face College of Charleston on Monday, February 12 with game time at 5:30 p.m., once again a part of a two-spot.