Panthers can’t match the basketball Catamounts, 74-61

On Saturday afternoon the Western Carolina University Women’s Basketball defeated the Georgia State University Panthers, 74-61. WCU was coming off their first win of the season when they defeated UNC-Asheville on Wednesday evening.

The win against UNC-Asheville fired up the team and propelled the Lady Catamounts into victory against the Lady Panthers.

Georgia State won the tip off and immediately attacked the basket, indicating they were looking to play a fast-paced basketball game. WCU responded by playing half court pressure defense, forcing Georgia State to pass the ball around multiple times before they could attempt a shot.

WCU struggled early in the game in all phases. The Lady Catamounts were unable to hit any shots and were not able to drive into the lane, settling for wild and unbalanced shots.

WCU began climbing back as they cut the lead to eight with 11 minutes left in the game. Sloppy play quickly put them behind 27-13 with 5:48 left in the first half.

WCU found a spark when senior guard Hana Haden made a three-point field goal. Within a minute, sophomore guard Lindsay Simpson made another three to cut the lead to 29-21. Two more three-point baskets by Makensey Campbell and Simpson cut the lead to four. With another swish of the net by Simpson, the Catamount went into halftime leading 35-34.

In the second half, GSU came back strong and began closing out the lanes to prevent inside play. WCU continued to shoot the lights out with Campbell, Simpson and Justin Taylor all making wide open three-point shots.

Both teams traded buckets in the second half, keeping tensions high. WCU took advantage of GSU’s pressure defense, which always left a WCU player open by capitalizing on the open three-point line.

With 3:30 left in the game, WCU, riding off momentum from the small but loud crowd began to pull away with a 7-point lead with two minutes left in the game.

Down by 10 with a minute left in the game, GSU tried to shoot their way back in the game but WCU’s tight defense forced contested and missed shots.

WCU held on to win the game, 74-61. With the win, WCU extends their winning streak to two games and improves to 2-3 while the Panthers fall to 0-5.

Simpson had a game high 17 points and four three-point goals. Shauna Terry was the defensive force of the game as she collected 12 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.

The Lady Catamounts will play at Appalachian State University on Nov. 26 in Boone.