By Carey Phillips
UNC-Asheville rallied for a 74-72 non-conference women’s basketball victory at Western Carolina on Friday.
Nadina Evans scored 31 points for the Lady Bulldogs. Kai Carter followed with 17, and Jordaynia Evie had 10.
Vanessa Oduah led the Lady Cats (1-1) with 26 points. Zanoria Cruz finished with 15, and Nadia Marshall had 11.
WCU’s only lead in OT was 70-69 on Marshall’s free throw at the 1:36 mark.
Carter’s basket 10 seconds later put UNC-A ahead to stay, 71-70.
Evans scored with 38 seconds remaining making it 73-70.
Western missed a potential tying shot in the closing seconds.
The Lady Cats led 53-41 on Oduah’s jumper with 53-41 remaining in regulation and were still up 65-57 after two foul shots by Cruz with 1:48 on the clock.
They committed turnovers on three straight possessions allowing the Lady Bulldogs to go on a 9-0 run for a 66-65 lead on Ivie’s fast break layup with 20 seconds left.
Oduah put WCU back on top, 67-66, with 13 seconds to go.
Faith Adams made one of two foul shots with nine seconds to play sending the game to OT 67-67.
The Lady Cats ended the third period on a 15-3 spurt, including a pair of three-pointers by Oduah, for a 48-39 lead on Cruz’s buzzer-beating trey.
Evans scored eight straight points for her team giving UNC-A a 15-9 lead with 1:50 to go in the first quarter, which ended 17-11.
The margin was 24-17 on Evans’ basket with 6:25 left in the half, and the Lady Bulldogs led 30-27 at intermission.
WCU shot 49.1 percent from the floor to UNC-A’s 43.8 percent.
Marshall’s seven rebounds helped Western control the glass 37-30. Carter led the Lady Bulldogs with seven.
The difference in the game was 28 turnovers by the Lady Cats, while UNC-A committed 11.
Completing the WCU scoring were Tembre Moates with eight, Andrea Martin-Ruiz with five, Endia Holliday with four, Joi Reid with two and Mykaylyn Davis with one.