Asheville, N.C. – The Presbyterian College women’s basketball team erased a third quarter deficit of 11 points to get within one in the fourth, but UNC Asheville’s Ali Trani sank five free throws in the game’s final 30 seconds to lead the Bulldogs to a 51-45 victory at Kimmel Arena on Tuesday night. Freshman Trinity Johnson scored a game-high and collegiate-best 15 points to lead the Blue Hose.
How It Happened
After building an early 7-1 lead, Asheville failed to score for the final 6:55 of the first quarter. Presbyterian College rallied during that time to take a 10-7 lead into the second.
Both teams struggled in the second quarter, and the Blue Hose held a 17-16 lead at halftime. Kacie Hall had nine first half points to go along with eight points for Johnson.
Asheville exploded for 20 points in the third quarter and held an 11-point lead, 36-25, after a three-pointer from Jessica Wall with 2:28 on the clock. PC ended the quarter on a 6-0 run with Johnson connecting on four free throws and Bria Gibbs sinking a layup to make it 36-31 with 10:00 to go.
Salina Virola scored the next six points for PC, making it 37-38 with 8:06 to play. Johnson would sink another pair of free throws to make it 39-40 with 7:13 to play, but Asheville scored the next four points to build a cushion that carried them into the game's final minute.
Trani scored the last seven points of the game for UNC Asheville including five free throws with less than 30 seconds remaining to hold on for the 51-45 win.
Players of the Game
Trinity Johnson scored a collegiate-best 15 points, including 8-of-11 free throws, in 23 minutes off the bench to lead all scorers. Tiffany Wilson and Jessica Wall each scored 12 points to lead UNC Asheville.
For the Record
Presbyterian College falls to 4-19 (2-10 Big South) while UNC Asheville improves to 12-11 (7-5).
By the Numbers
Neither team shot the three well, with PC connecting on just 2-of-7 (.286) and Asheville hitting 4-of-21 (.190). The Bulldogs won the rebounding battle, 41-31, and scored 19 points off 15 PC turnovers. The Blue Hose scored 12 points off 12 Asheville turnovers.
Presbyterian College welcomes High Point to the Templeton Center on Saturday, February 16, with tip-off scheduled for 2 pm and the game broadcast on ESPN+.