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Blue Hose Fend off UNC Asheville, 56-49

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The Presbyterian College women’s basketball team held off a surging UNC Asheville squad in the second half on Thursday night to hold onto its share of first place in the Big South Conference, 56-49.

PC improves to 11-7 overall and 6-1 in the Big South. UNC Asheville falls to 2-15 overall and 0-6 in league action. The Blue Hose next travel to Winthrop for a Saturday matinee at 1 p.m. Asheville hosts Gardner-Webb on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The Bulldogs outscored the Blue Hose 33-22 in the second half, but PC’s 18-point halftime lead proved large enough to secure the win.

Mariah Pietrowski tallied 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds, giving her fourth career double-double and her first since February 12, 2011 at UNC Asheville.

Asheville native Karlee Taylor led PC with 13 points and knocked down three three-pointers, moving her into sole possession of fifth place in program history for career threes (144).

Dria David (Lawrenceville, Ga.) also added 12 points and four assists.

UNC Asheville’s Kelli Riles led all players with 20 points and 13 rebounds, going 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.

PC charged out from the opening tip, steadily building a lead that saw PC take an 18-point lead into the halftime break, 34-16. The visitors pushed the pace and enjoyed a 27-10 advantage with 5:27 before halftime.

Post play carried the Blue Hose early with Pietrowski, Chelsea Parker (Asheville, N.C.) and Keyonna Allen (Forest Park, Ga.) pouring in the team’s first 11 points.

Taylor took over in the back end of the half, raining down two treys as part of her eight first-half points—all scored in the final seven minutes.

The Blue Hose shot 60.9 percent in the first half (14-for-23) while the Bulldogs struggled from the floor and shot at an 18.5 percent clip (5-for-27). PC spread the ball around by registering an assist on 11 of the first half’s 14 field goals.

The second half told a different story as PC’s shooting began to run cold. Taylor scored eight straight PC points that stretched over the end of the first half and start of the second, but the Asheville defense tightened up.

The Bulldogs strung together 10 straight points—eight from Kelli Riles—and the Blue Hose went nearly six minutes without scoring while PC’s lead shrunk to eight down the stretch.

Forced to foul, the Bulldogs put PC on the line and the visitors hit enough to stay ahead and grab their fifth straight win over Asheville.

The Asheville native Parker tied a season-high with eight points. Devin Fothergill (Somerset, Ky.) also contributed four assists.

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