Catamounts barely take down ETSU in women’s basketball

The Lady Catamounts forced a narrow victory against the East Tennessee State Buccaneers prolonging their winning streak to four games, with an overall record of 5-3.

WCU came into Sunday’s game versus the Buccaneers with a win against the Mountaineers at Appalachian State University on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

East Tennessee is a future Southern Conference opponent for the Catamounts. This game was a glimpse to what the upcoming years will look like playing the Buccaneers.

This is the first game for senior guard and forward Kristen Lyon. After suffering from an injury at the beginning of the season, Lyon returned for the win.

WCU opened up the game with Shauna Terry winning the tip and Justin Taylor capitalizing for the layup.

Both teams came off with a slow start, with the score totaling 6-7 East Tennessee State within six minutes of the start of the game.

Lyon, within the first 30 seconds of being in the game, was fouled on a layup, capitalizing on a three-point play. Lyon accomplished this another time only two minutes later. With 9:45 remaining in the game, WCU is leading ETSU 16-16. Both teams were trading baskets.

With three minutes left in the first half, ETSU stole of the momentum leading the Catamounts 29-25.

The Catamounts come back to end the first half with two defensive stops and a buzzer beater three-pointer by Rena Wakama. The Catamounts were ahead 36-33 at the half. Both teams played very physically in the first half.

At the beginning of the second half, the Catamounts showed a lot of energy, trying to make an impact, but their attempts at scoring fell through, missing several layups and jump shots. Their defense, however, was strong, causing the Buccaneers to become sloppy.

Wakama ended the dry skid with a layup, propelling both teams into a back-and-forth scoring pattern. The Catamounts pulled away the most with a seven-point difference.

ETSU was slow but steady to catch back up to the Catamounts.  Because WCU did not make their short jump shots, ETSU began to catch up.

With five minutes remaining in the game, the Buccaneers and the Catamounts were tied 53-53, going back and forth, once again. Neither team seemed clearly better than the other. It was a consistent slow-paced, physical and defensive game.

At the end of the second half, Wakama lost control of the ball two times in a row on offense, forsaking the Catamounts’ opportunities to score. With 1:07 left in the game, the Catamounts were still up 57-56. The Lady Catamounts made a defensive stop, and after three fouls by the Buccaneers, ETSU had reached the 1-and-1 threshold when Brianna McQueen of ETSU fouled WCU’s Ali Lane who went to the line with 12.2 seconds left. Lane missed and WCU’s Justin Taylor, who grabbed the offensive rebound, is fouled and goes to the line with 9.6 seconds remaining. Taylor makes 1 out of 2, giving the Buccaneers the ball. The Catamounts played strong defense, making the Lady Buccaneers force their shot, missing and giving the Catamounts the victory.

They won 58-56.

Wakama was the high scorer of the game, totaling 17 points. Lyon was right behind Wakama with 16 points.

Sophomore guard Lindsay Simpson scored only five points against the Buccaneers. Simpson has scored in the double digits five out of the seven games played.

The women’s basketball team plays next on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at Presbyterian College.