Western Carolina’s Judith Martin-Ruiz

Western Carolina’s Judith Martin-Ruiz looks to make a move on a defender in Saturday’s 65-58 loss to Wofford.

By Carey Phillips

 

Wofford took control in the fourth quarter to defeat Western Carolina 65-58 Saturday in Southern Conference women’s basketball action at the Ramsey Center.

Niyah Lutz and Lilly Hatton scored 19 and 18 points, respectively, for the Lady Terriers.

Lauren LaPlant paced the Lady Cats (5-22, 2-10) with 15 points. Jewel Smalls added 11, and Andrea Martin-Ruiz had 10.

WCU led 55-54 on Tembre Moates’ layup with 6:49 left in the game.

Hatton’s basket at the 6:32 mark gave Wofford the lead for good, 56-55. It started a game-ending 11-3 run, during which Hatton and Lutz both scored four.

Hatton had four as the Lady Terriers opened the game with a 12-2 spurt, capped by Cairo Booker’s three-pointer with 4:37 to play in the first period.

The lead reached 18-5 after Lutz’s three-pointer with 3:12 on the clock.

Western ended the quarter on a 10-3 run, including eight by LaPlant, cutting the gap to 21-15.

The Lady Cats continued the surge outscoring Wofford 8-2 to open the second period. LaPlant and Martin-Ruiz both had four resulting in a 23-23 tie with 5:39 to play in the half.

WCU led 35-29 at the 1:43 mark after consecutive three-pointers by LaPlant and Alyssa Walker and was on top 35-32 at halftime.

There were seven lead changes and three ties in the third period with neither team ahead by more than three.

Two foul shots by Judith Martin-Ruiz with 19 seconds to go pulled Western into a 49-49 tie entering the fourth quarter.

The Lady Terriers won despite making just 39.3 percent of their field goals tries to WCU’s 43.1 percent.

Wofford dominated on the boards 45-23. Lawren Cook led the way with 11 rebounds, and Jewel Smalls topped the Lady Cats with seven.

The Lady Terriers had 11 turnovers, and Western committed eight.

Completing the WCU scoring were Moates with nine, Walker with eight and Judith Martin-Ruiz with five.