By Kristen Martiniello
The Paladins suffered a tragic defeat at the hands of UNCG in their evening match against the Spartans on Monday, Feb. 18.
The teams challenged each other head to head in a heartbreakingly close game that ended 60-59. UNCG sealed the victory with a free throw made by Ebona Goins in the final 12 seconds of the match.
UNCG claimed the lead at halftime with 32-29, but the Paladins rallied to dominate the opening of the second half.
The Paladins took back the lead 37-32 with an 8-0 surge assisted by a basket from Brittany Hodges two minutes after the teams returned to the court.
Furman continued to control the game as they drew eleven points ahead of the Spartans. The score reached 47-36 as Janice Roberts made a layup with 11:35 remaining.
With 9:45 left in the game, the Spartans made a 6-0 run to diminish the nine point gap Furman had claimed.
UNCG’s Jessica Collins completed a layup off of a steal to bring the score to 51-48. Furman maintained the lead with a basket from Holli Wilkins with just over four minutes remaining. Wilkins brought the tally to 57-52, but UNCG tied the game with 2:43 to go.
Hodges made two free throws with 1:30 left. Her shots gave Furman back a two-point lead.
Eighteen seconds later the Spartans made a layup to retie the game 59-59. In the final heart-pounding minute of the match Furman had two turnovers. UNCG retained possession of the ball to claim the win from a single free throw point.
Furman made a 48.9 shot percent with Hodges and Teshia Griswold garnering 13 points apiece. Wilkins followed them by one point, earning 12 of the team’s total 59 points. Roberts and Hodges led the team in rebounds with six points each while Kaitlin Murphy made four assists.
The team connected on a solid 23 of their 47 shots compared to UNCG who only made 24 of their 59 shots. Yet the Paladins had a devastating 20 turnovers, which ultimately cost them the game.
Two days earlier, Davidson also claimed the win in their match against the Paladins on Feb. 16, though by a much larger margin than the UNCG game. Janice Roberts set the pace in scoring for Furman with 13 points.
Overall, the team only connected on 18 of 61 shots and had 23 turnovers. The final score was 71-49.
Hopefully, the Paladins can pull out some victories as they enter into their final games of the 2013 season.
The women’s basketball team will play again on Mar. 2 as they travel to Wofford.