The UNCG women's basketball produced its highest point total of the season Saturday, but Richmond left Fleming Gymnasium with a 104-69 nonconference victory. The loss drops the Spartans to 1-6 overall while the Spiders improve to 7-4.
Junior Breonna Patterson (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) tied her career high with 23 points and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Also joining Patterson in double figures offensively were freshmen Lucy Mason (Stone Mountain, Ga./Chamblee Charter) and Sarafina Arthur-Williams (Germantown, Md./Winston Churchill) as they dropped in 13 and 11 respectively - a personal best total for Arthur-Williams. Patterson and Mason led the team on the glass, racking up seven rebounds each as Mason posted a career high.
The Spartans out-rebounded a team for the first time this season, pulling down 41 boards as compared to 39 for Richmond, while also posting a 20-9 advantage in offensive rebounds.
The Spiders could not seem to miss from the field, knocking down 42 of 72 shots for a 59-percent showing. UNCG checked in at 33 percent on a 23-for-69 performance. The Blue and Gold knocked down a season-best 17 of 23 from the free throw line (74 percent) while Richmond hit 12 of 16 charity tosses. The Spiders also tallied 32 assists on their 42 field goals.
Liz Brown put Richmond on top 3-0 when she converted a three-point play just 49 seconds into the game. Patterson would respond with a layup a few possessions later, but the Spiders raced out to a 10-2 lead with Keri Soppe drained a three-pointer at the 16:12 mark.
Richmond's advantage grew all the way to 25-10 with just over 10 minutes left in the half, but UNCG scored five-straight points - including an old-fashioned three-point play by rookie Diamond Cooper (Orlando, Fla./West Orange) - to pull within 10 with 9:47 left on the clock.
The Spiders turned on their transition game for much of the remaining time in the period, moving in front by 23 when Rachel Bilney put in a fastbreak layup at the 1:22 mark. However, the Spartans answered back, scoring the last 10 points of the half to slice the deficit to 13 (50-37) at the break. Mason nailed a pair of three-pointers during that time to spark the run.
Patterson scored 13 of her points in the first 20 minutes while freshman Ciara Morris (Hope Mills, N.C./South View) racked up three rebounds to lead UNCG. The Blue and Gold also hit four of a season-best six three-pointers.
Arthur-Williams hit the first shot of the second half for either team, making the score 50-39, but by the time Patterson scored UNCG's next points, Richmond had extended the lead to 20 at 61-41. Freshman Jazmine Missouri (Kensington, Md./Academy of the Holy Cross) was able to drop in a free throw to complete an old-fashioned three-point play at the 14:27 mark, but the Spiders would still lead 65-44 and were not threatened again.
The Spartans continue their current five-game homestand in one week, hosting Norfolk State Saturday, Dec. 15. Tipoff at Fleming Gymnasium is set for 2 p.m.