Paige Love helped the University of North Carolina at Asheville women’s basketball team make school history on Saturday afternoon.
The 2012 Wilkes Central graduate pumped in 15 points to help the Bulldogs earn their first-ever Big South Conference championship with an 85-64 win against High Point in the regular season finale inside the Justice Center.
UNCA (22-6, 15-4) was tied with Liberty University for first place going into the final day of play for the Big South Conference. The Flames suffered a 57-49 loss to Presbyterian College on Saturday to give the Bulldogs the outright championship and the No. 1 seed entering the conference tournament, which gets underway on Thursday in Asheville
The Bulldogs will play at Noon on Friday against the winner of the Coastal Carolina-Campbell matchup.
Love went a perfect 3-for-3 from the 3-point line in the contest. She grabbed five rebounds in the win. Chatori Major led the Bulldogs with 17 points while Khalia Webb (14 points) and Tianna Knuckles (12 points) also scored double figures.
Going into the fourth quarter, UNC-Asheville held a 59-56 advantage against the Panthers before going on a 17-4 run to increase the gap between the two teams. The Bulldogs outscored High Point 26-8 in the final quarter.
Omanovic, Marchand earn GNAC All-Conference honors
NEWTON, Mass. — Former Wilkes Central basketball player and current Lasell College guard Armin Omanovic and senior forward Pat Marchand received Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) post-season honors as announced by the conference office on Feb. 29. Omanovic represented the Lasers as a First Team pick, while Marchand was elected to the Second Team.
Omanovic, a two-time GNAC Player of the Week honoree, finished his first season as a Laser with 556 total points, highlighted by an 83.9 shooting percentage from the free-throw line.
The junior connected on 230-of-274 shots from the charity stripe, and set the Lasell College record for most free throws made in a game on Dec. 5, with 22 against Mount Ida.
In all 27 contests that he started for the Lasers, Omanovic also totaled 120 rebounds and 109 assists. At the conclusion of the season, Omanovic ranked third among conference stat leaders with 20.6 points per game.
Marchand, a crucial forward to the program, grabbed 280 rebounds - ranking third in the GNAC with 10.4 rebounds per game - this season to push his career total to 459 in two years played. Marchand also registered 368 points to complete 13 double-doubles out of 27 games played.
Omanovic and the Lasers advanced to the quarter finals of the GNAC tournament before dropping an 87-80 decision to Albertus Magnus. Lasell finished the season 18-9 and 14-4 in the league.