Lady Catamounts take 2nd at Courtyard Classic

During the weekend of December 2 – 3, the Western Carolina University Catamounts took on the Eastern Kentucky Colonels for the second time this school year. However, a 22% field goal percentage that included going 0-for-13 from three-point range in the second half would prove to be their downfall as the Lady Colonels left with an 83-66 win over the Lady Cats in Western’s first game of the Courtyard Classic in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Despite trailing early in the first half, Western would not give up and found a way to tie up the score or be within striking distance. After a three-pointer from Lauren Powell with 14:28 left in the half, Western would not let go of the lead in the half, leading by as many as seven points (24-17 with 9:28 left), and would go into the half with a slim one-point lead, 37-36. Despite not letting go of the lead the rest of the half, Western Carolina and Eastern Kentucky would endure seven ties and four lead changes. Powell led the way in the first half with 12 points on a four-of-six shooting including two for three from three-point land. Junior Ashley Pellom also had an impressive in the first half with seven assists. The Lady Colonels would re-take the lead just 13 seconds into the second half (39-37) courtesy of a three-pointer from Eastern Kentucky’s Niki Avery. Western would commit 11 turnovers in the second half as the Lady Colonels would keep growing and went on a 21-4 run to begin the second half. The lead would get extended to as many as 23 points (83-60) with 1:34 left to play in the game. Western would eventually go on a 6-0 run to end the game, but in the end, the damage had already been done as Western would drop the game, 83-66. Powell would lead four Catamount players in double figures with 14 points, but just two in the second half. Juniors Monique Dawson and Chevon Keith put up 12 and 11 points respectively; Keith just missed out on a double-double with nine rebounds, as well. Senior Lynsie Lamitie rounded out the double figures with 10. Freshman Heather Swayne scored the first seven points of her college career. Amber Kirkpatrick led the Lady Colonels in scoring with 23 points. Crystal Jones just missed out on a double-double with 18 points and eight assists, while Ashley Cazee chipped in 13. Andrea Jenkins amassed a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. In the second game of the tournament, it was a different story for the Lady Catamounts. Despite shooting less than 40% from the floor, they did shoot an impressive 66% from the three-point line in route to a 69-51 victory over the Lady Hawks of Saint Joseph’s University at McKenzie Arena. Western would jump out to the early 6-0 lead in the first half, courtesy of three Saint Joseph’s turnovers on their first three possessions of the half. From there, the lead would continually grow, forcing the Lady Hawks to call a 30-second time-out, with Western leading by nine (11-2). After the time-out, Western would connect on two more baskets before a three-pointer by Saint Joseph’s Ayahna Cornish would stop Western’s 15-to-2 run to open the game. The Lady Hawks would continue to cut into the Lady Catamounts lead with a nine-to-one run of their own shorten the lead to just five (16-11). Saint Joseph’s would get as close as three at 16-13 with 10:42 left in the half. That would be as close as the Lady Hawks would get as Western would go into halftime up by seven (26-19). The Lady Catamounts would come out of halftime and right away add on to their lead with a jumper from Chevon Keith to take a nine-point lead, 28-19. Halfway through the second half saw Western extend their lead to 23 (51-28) after a basket by Jessika Johnson. Western would maintain a 20-point lead or more the rest of the half, until the final minute of the game as Saint Joseph’s made two last baskets to try and cut the lead. The efforts would not be enough as Western defeated Saint Joseph’s, 69-51. Johnson led three Lady Catamounts in scoring with 15 points. Chevon Keith, who was named to the all-tournament team, accomplished Western’s first double-double of the year with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Lauren Powell would round out the double-figures with 12 points. Monique Dawson missed out on double figures by a point with nine. Saint Joseph’s was paced by Jenna Loschiavo’s 13 points, and Cornish chipped in 10 in the loss.Western out-rebounded the Lady Hawks 46-to-40, but Saint Joseph’s held the edge in steals, 13-5. The Lady Hawks committed more turnovers, 21-to-20.