By Carey Phillips
After having three games postponed due to COVID-19 issues with their opponents, Western Carolina’s women’s basketball team returned to action Jan. 6 with a 74-54 win over Piedmont at the Ramsey Center.
Piedmont was the first of three teams to have COVID issues that caused a contest with WCU to be postponed. The original meeting was set for New Year’s Eve.
Kyla Allison scored 19 points for the Lady Cats. She was joined in double figures by Tembre Moates with 14, Zanoria Cruz with 12 and Mia Littlejohn with 11.
Nakiyah Washington paced the Lady Lions with 18, followed by Livia Skinner with 17 and Lu Woolfolk with 10.
Piedmont got off to a fast start and led 22-13 on Washington’s basket with 3:32 left in the opening period.
WCU went on a 9-2 run, including five by Littlejohn, cutting the gap to 24-22 at the quarter break.
Western took its first lead at 29-26 on Lauren LaPlant’s three-pointer with 8:18 remaining in the half.
The Lady Cats reeled off 12 unanswered points, including five by Allison, building the margin to 44-31 with 3:10 on the clock.
Two foul shots by Cruz to end the half made it 48-34.
WCU led 52-36 after a layup by Cruz with 52-36 to go in the third period, which ended with the score 56-45.
Piedmont narrowed the deficit to 58-50 on Woolfolk’s three-pointer at the 7:09 mark.
Western put the game away with 16 straight points, including eight by Moates, to lead 74-50 on Littlejohn’s follow shot with 1:37 on the clock.
WCU shot 44.4 percent from the floor and held the Lady Lions to 33.3 percent, including 20 percent in the second half.
The Lady Cats dominated the glass 48-27. Alyssa Walker led the way with 11 rebounds.
Completing the WCU scoring were LaPlant with six, Walker with five, Joi Reid with four and Sophia Singer with three.