Junior guard Jadin Gladden attempting a three point shot. Gladden ended the game with 7 points. Image/UNCP Athletics.
by Danny Williams, Contributor
Published Feb. 17, 2021
The Braves Women’s Basketball team secured their first win after a four-game losing streak in a home game versus Augusta on Wednesday. Two free throws in overtime from key contributor Gabby Smith and a steal from Jadin Gladden with 1.4 seconds left in the contest, earned a win for the Braves.
It was a back-and-forth game, with neither team letting up. After being down 44-38 in the fourth quarter with four minutes left, the Braves mounted a comeback that would send the game into overtime. Augusta’s lead was shortened by two points as Smith converted a layup with 12 seconds left to give UNCP 51 points to August’s 53.
Augusta missed two free throws shortly afterward, giving the Braves final possession of the ball. With 2.4 seconds left on the clock, Smith got physical in the paint for a rebound off of a missed three and put it back in the basket, sending the game into overtime.
The game ended with three consecutive free-throws and a steal. UNCP’s Gilbert tied the game at 59 after converting two free throws, in the following possession Augusta hit one of their two free throws to give themselves a one-point lead over the Braves.
Smith was fouled after getting the ball, sending her to the line where she hit both of her free-throw attempts, giving UNCP a 61-60 advantage. The win was stamped in the books with Jadin Gladden’s steal in the final moments of the game.
Two players scored double figures for Pembroke, Smith with 16 points and nine rebounds. Gilbert recorded a career-high 10 points from off the bench; Diamond Fedrick and Alcenia Purnell were also big contributors to the Braves with 9 points a piece.
UNCP is now 2-7 overall and 2-6 in the Peach Belt Conference. Saturday’s game against USC Aiken was canceled. So, the Braves will have a few days of rest until their next game, which is at home against rival Francis Marion, Feb. 24.
Recap of Loss to Young Harris
Two days before their big win against Augusta, UNC Pembroke women’s basketball traveled to Young Harris College Monday evening. The Braves fought hard against Young Harris, but poor shooting from the field, charity stripe, and a high turnover count hurt UNCP in their comeback efforts. Young Harris scored 55-39 against UNCP in the YHC Basketball Arena.
The story of the game for The Braves were their missed three point attempts and free throws. UNCP shot 1-18 from the three, and 10-20 from the free throw line. Young Harris made five more trey balls than UNCP in fewer attempts, as they shot 6-16 from three.
Sophomore forward Gabby Smith looking for her teammate cutting towards the basket. Smith shot 70% from the field, making 7 of 10 field goal attempts. Image/UNCP Athletics.
Young Harris didn’t shoot particularly well either, but three of their six three pointers came in the fourth quarter, which helped them ultimately outscore the Braves 15-8 and balloon their lead to 16 points at the end of the game.
“I feel pretty good about my performance. Every game, I just try my best to contribute as much as I can to try to create a successful team and program as a whole moving forward,” Gabby Smith said. A bright spot for the Braves, as she led the team by scoring 16 points and six rebounds.
UNCP women’s head coach John Haskins reflects on their performance after the game. “I felt like we competed hard, but we just really struggled shooting the ball both from the three-point and free throw line. We did a good job getting the ball inside to Gabby Smith but were just unable to knock down perimeter shots,” Coach Haskins said.