The Lady Catamounts came out victorious in Monday night’s game against Wofford, leading them to an overall record of 11-11 and a Southern Conference record of 5-6. The final score was 66-47.
The Catamounts came out strong, strictly sticking to their set plays on offense and defensive set ups.
Western Carolina University won the tip-off and controlled the game from there. Defense is what propelled the Lady Catamounts the first half, giving them steals, fast-breaks, and scoring opportunities. Their offense flowed from their defense.
The Wofford Bulldogs seemed to lack a strong interior offense. This was shown in the Bulldogs looking primarily for 3-point shots. The Bulldogs attempted a total of 25 3-point shots, making only five. The Catamounts 3-point percentage was better than the Bulldogs, making 43.8 percent of their 3-point attempts while the Bulldogs made only 20 percent.
Although the Bulldogs were weak in the interior, the Catamounts were actively and effectively defending the interior lane, preventing most close shots.
Justin Taylor had two hard fouls in the beginning of the game, taking her out of the game for a short while. Taylor returned and recovered relatively quickly.
Rena Wakama was effective on both offense and defense, making necessary defensive stops as well as being the high scorer with a whopping 16 points in the first half. Wakama made no points during the second half, however she was still the third highest scorer overall.
By the end of the half, WCU was ahead of Wofford, 19-33, by a comfortable 14-point lead.
The second half was overall the same song as the first. The Catamounts dominated on defense, resulting in momentum on offense.
The Wofford Bulldogs were reactive in multiple ways. For a while, the Bulldogs penetrated the Catamounts’ lead, pulling it to a difference of under 10. However, the Catamounts regained the comfortable lead shortly after. The Bulldogs started showing obvious signs of frustration, overreacting to opposing calls or lack of calls in their favor.
Lindsay Simpson, who scored only three points in the first half, was an extremely valuable asset in the second half. Simpson scored 15 points in the second half, becoming the high-scorer of the game.
A technical foul was called on Taylor with approximately 10 minutes remaining in the game. The technical did not shift the momentum of the game. The Catamounts played consistently through the whole game, something that has been paramount in their success this season.
With five minutes remaining, Wofford continued to try to cut the lead with a full-court pressure defense.
The Catamounts were up by 19 with 1:09 remaining on the clock. An uneventful last minute ends the game with the Lady Catamounts feeling strong.
The Lady Catamounts will return to the Ramsey Center on Saturday, Feb. 15 when they face Elon University.