Lady Cats Dominate Weekend SoCon Play

The Western Carolina Lady Catamounts extended their home winning streak to four after embarrassing the College of Charleston and East Tennessee State University this weekend in the Ramsey Center.

Over the course of this streak, the average margin of victory for the Lady Cats has been 24.

The team’s recent resurgence has positioned them just out of a fifth-place tie in the conference, standing only one-game behind both CofC and ETSU after defeating both teams this past weekend.

Monday night, Western (12-14, 6-11) topped Charleston 87-61 in the Ramsey Center. WCU jumped all over the Lady Cougars (11-15, 7-10) early and never let up in a game they led for the entire forty minutes.

The first seven minutes saw the Lady Cats score 12 of the game’s initial 14 points to take an early ten-point lead. They would continue to build this lead that would culminate in the first half when junior Katie Scott made a lay-up to give WCU a 20-point lead with only 3:24 remaining until the half.

The Lady Cougars would then begin to fight back, however, as they narrowed the margin to 13 going into the half at 39-26. Continuing this trend in the second half, they would draw to within nine points with 16:31 left in the game.

Western Carolina finally began to fight back, as freshman forward Tiffany Hamm capped a Lady Cat surge with mid-range jumper to extend her squad’s lead back out to 55-39 three minutes later.

Charleston’s Wilma Simpson then knocked down two free throws as part of her team-high 14 points with just over eight minutes remaining in the contest. This once again brought the Lady Cougars to within single digits at nine points.

The Lady Catamounts then put Charleston away for good, outscoring them by 17 over the final eight minutes to notch the 26-point win, their second straight win by at least that margin.

The game’s final statistics told much the same story as the scoreboard, as Western nearly doubled the Lady Cougars’ field goal shooting. The Lady Cats lit up the floor, shooting 54 percent, including 65 percent in the second half. Meanwhile, they managed to hold Charleston to a dismal 28 percent that featured only 5-for-22 shooting in the first half.

Hamm and junior forward Laura Echols led five different Lady Catamounts in double figures with 18 points apiece. Echols and Hamm also led the way on the boards with nine and six rebounds, respectively. Sophomore forward Janetta Heggins came off the bench to add 14 points.

Meanwhile, senior guard April Fleck recorded 13 points and four assists. Sophomore point guard Christy Blackwell rounded out those players in double figures with 11 points, three assists and two steals.

Previously in the week, the Lady Cats snapped a two-game losing skid by returning home and destroying SoCon rival East Tennessee State University 95-68. The point total was the highest of the season for WCU this season. The squad also managed to end the Lady Bucs’ (7-19, 7-10) two-game winning streak, while placing five players in double figures.

Western used the kind of fast start that has become characteristic of their squad of late. They managed to gain an 11-point edge just over eight minutes into the contest when Blackwell converted one of her three steals into a transition lay-up.

Just two minutes later, Fleck buried one of her three three-pointers to build the lead to 17. ETSU finally began to show signs of life, however, and closed the margin to 11 when