The UNC Asheville women’s basketball team used a balanced scoring attack to defeat the Presbyterian Blue Hose, 59-46, with nearly every Bulldog who saw the floor putting points on the board.
“In practice, we focused on attacking their matchup zone. They’re the best defensive team in the league. They make games extremely ugly by the way they play defense and force turnovers. They make it hard for you to score,” said Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick, Bulldogs coach. “When we got shots up, we wanted to go up and get second chance shots. I thought we rebounded the ball pretty well.”
According to Kirkpatrick, the 20 offensive rebounds the Bulldogs had might have been the key to the win.
Asheville was firmly in control for the first 15 minutes of the game, building a 28-10 lead from rebounding and second chance points. They finished the half with a 13-2 advantage in second chance points.
The Blue Hose went on a scoring run in the last 5 minutes of the first half. They ended the half on a 13-2 run to cut the lead to 30-23 at halftime.
“I think we relaxed a little bit and that let them get back in the game. I think Presbyterian put their foot on the gas. They’re a great team and they’re not going to go away. They’re one of the toughest teams in the league. They’re physical,” said Kirkpatrick. “They’re going to find a way and a couple of their big players started stepping up. It’s about having that mentality of never relax and that’s what we have to have moving forward.”
The Blue Hose kept up with the Bulldogs until about midway through the second half when Tacey Trammel hit three consecutive three-pointers to give Asheville a 46-33 lead.
Presbyterian would not get any closer than nine after that, with Asheville making their free throws down the stretch to maintain the lead.
“We were really able to respond very well when Presbyterian cut the lead to four. We had to turn it up on the defensive end to stop them from getting points in the paint,” said K.J. Weaver, Bulldogs guard. “Sometimes we went to two because they were getting so many from Keyonna Allen, so going back into a zone and not letting them get as many paint touches.”