A'Queen Hayes

A’Queen Hayes lead Colonels with 23 points

RICHMOND, Ky. – A’Queen Hayes, Abby Wright, and Joya Smith netted career-highs and helped lead the Eastern Kentucky University women’s basketball team past the UNC Greensboro Spartans, 70-59, in McBrayer Arena Saturday night.

Hayes, who scored 23 points, has improved her scoring in every game this season; besting her previous high of 14 that came against Western Carolina this past Wednesday. Smith logged a career-high 28 minutes off the bench on her way to her career-high eight points on 4-of-7 shooting. Also, Wright netted 19 points and tied her career-high she set her freshman season.

The Spartans (3-1, 0-0 SoCon) would score the first points of the game, but it would be the last time they would lead. After the score, the Colonels responded with a quick 6-0 run to jump out in front. UNC Greensboro would battle back to tie it at 8-8, but a Wright three-point play sparked a 9-2 Colonel run that extended into the second quarter to open the game up.

EKU (2-1, 0-0 OVC) finished the game shooting a season-best 48 percent from the floor against a Spartan defense that led the nation in field goal percentage defense coming into the contest. The Colonels also outrebounded the Spartans, 34-28, dished out twice as many assists (18-9), and forced UNCG into 15 turnovers that led to 23 points.

UNC Greensboro was led by Nadine Soliman, who scored a game-high 25 points. She finished 11-of-12 from the foul line.

After a back-and-forth third stanza, Soliman scored five straight points to cut the EKU lead to 12 midway through the fourth quarter. On the next possession, Madison Pierce grabbed one of her team-high seven rebounds and found Wright at the top of the key. She proceeded to make her only three of game, sparking a 7-2 run over the next 3:15 to give Eastern its biggest lead of the game, 66-50.

The Colonels will be back in action on Wednesday when they travel to take on Akron. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.