Catamounts Win Final 3 Games Regular Season & Clinch SoCon Championship

Following a heartbreaking 83-81 overtime loss to Georgia Southern, the Lady Catamounts bounced right back to win their final 3 games of the regular season, thus crowning them as the Regular Season Champions of the Southern Conference. Their first defeat en route to their three straight wins was over the Paladins of Furman University 72-48. Live in the Ramsey Center in front of a crowd of 535 people, the Catamounts would turn an early six point deficit into a 24 point blowout. Led by two players in double digits, the Catamounts looked unbeatable and proved to be the team to beat in the Southern Conference. Junior Monique Dawson scored 15 points, and dished out five assists to lead the Cats to the victory. Sophomore Lauren Powell recorded 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 3-of-4 from three-point range. Juniors Jessika Johnson and Ashley Pellom also contributed for the Catamounts with each player scoring nine points for WCU. In the opening minutes of the first half, the Paladins shot 5-of-5 from the field and managed to take an early 10-4 lead. However, for the remainder of the half Furman would only be allowed to score just seven more points. WCU outscored Furman 31-to-7 for the remainder of the half and took a 35-17 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Catamounts used an early 9-0 run in the second half to push their lead 27 with the score being 44-17. The power of the Catamounts was too much for Furman to handle as the Catamounts took home the 24 point victory and inched closer to the SoCon Championship.The College of Charleston Cougars became victims to the Catamounts second win in their three game mark. The Catamounts defeated the Cougars 80-59 giving the program its third 20 win season in its 42 year history. The win also tied the Catamounts with Chattanooga for first place in the Southern Conference and sent the Cougars to their eighth consecutive loss. A trio of Catamounts would score in double digits for Western. Sophomore Brooke Johnson led the way off the bench with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting including 2-of-2 from long range. Powell finished with 16 points, and Dawson fished with 14 points and six assists. With 6:11 left to play in the first half, the Catamounts were decimating the Cougars with a score of 30-14. However, the Cats were outscored for the remainder of the first half 17-to-6 and only held a slim five point lead (36-31) at halftime. In the opening minutes of the second half the Catamounts went on a 14-0 run, and turned their five point lead into a comfortable 19 point lead at 50-31 with 16 minutes remaining in the game. With 10:42 remaining, the Cougars were able to get as close as 13 but the Cats outscored the Cougars 26-to-18 for the remainder of the contest, which gave them their 21 point victory. With two straight wins and one game left to play, all the Catamounts had to do was win their final game of the season. Doing so would result in at least a share of the regular season Southern Conference Championship and a number 1 seed in the Southern Conference Tournament. However, with a Chattanooga loss and a Western win, then the title would belong to the Catamounts outright, so a lot was at stake in their final game against the Spartans of UNC-Greensboro. Despite all the pressure riding in the contest against UNC-G, the Catamounts did exactly what they needed to do and won. The Spartans would be victim number three in WCU’s winning streak. The Catamounts, led by five players in double figures, clinched their share of the SoCon Regular Season Title and earned a number 1 seed in the tournament with a 73-67 victory over the Spartans. Junior Chevon Keith led the way for the Catamounts with 15 points and 10 rebounds which would be her fifth double-double of the year. Dawson finished with 14 points and six assists, Pellom finished with 10 points and a career high of five assists. Jessika Johnson and Brooke Johnson also contributed with 10 points apiece. After their storybook championship season, the Catamounts are not done quite yet. With a number 1 seed in the Southern Conference Tournament at their side, the Catamounts will play the winner of the College of Charleston vs. Furman opening round game. After a wonderful regular season run, the Catamounts are looking to go on another run and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years.