The UNCP Women’s Basketball team started of their season by breaking even in the PBC/Conference of the Carolinas Challenge. PN File Photo/Tyana Morris
Augusta University played host to the PBC/Conference Carolinas Challenge to begin the 2018 women’s basketball season. UNCP started their fourth year in a row with a 1-0 record on Nov. 9 after pulling away from the Southern Wesleyan Warriors 56-44 in their first action of the season.
Sophomore guard Melanie Horne led the way for the Braves with 12 points while Deja McCain and Aliyah Farmer both chipped in with 10. The team established a strong, physical paint presence in the game, scoring 32 points from in close compared to 20 for the Warriors.
The Braves were physical on the glass as well, outrebounding Southern Wesleyan 46-30.
Neither team was particularly good from the perimeter, as the two teams combined to shoot just 12 percent from three-point range, going a staggering 6-for-50.
Instead, with the teams putting more of an emphasis on the inside game and getting out and running in transition UNCP scored 18 points off turnovers. The Warriors only scored 8, despite both teams turning the ball over 13 times.
The lack of perimeter shooting helped to keep the game close all the way into the fourth quarter, where UNCP held a 40-39 lead before pulling away with a 6-0 run and a separate 7-0 run that put the game out of reach for Southern Wesleyan.
More from the Challenge:
The Braves’ played their second game of the challenge on Saturday, Nov. 10, a 76-72 loss to the Barton Bulldogs which would mark UNCP’s first loss of the new season.
The team committed 20 turnovers in the loss and surrendered 21 points off those turnovers, fresh off of 13 giveaways in the first game against Southern Wesleyan. This is an area the Braves will surely look to clean up as they continue their season.
The Braves kept the game competitive despite the turnovers by scoring the ball well, having three players in double figures.
Sophomore guard Melanie Horne continued to shine for the Braves, scoring 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting with 3 three-pointers made. The ultra-efficient night from Horne and overall scoring improvement is something to build on as the Braves look ahead to future opponents.