The last time Georgia Southern played UNC Greensboro, Meredyth Frye had a chance at a game winner.
The result was a turnover.
Saturday at Hanner Fieldhouse, she got her chance again, and this time, she wasn’t denied.
Frye took an inbound the length of the floor with 4.7 seconds remaining and kissed a fall-away jumper off the glass to help the Lady Eagles to a 68-67 win over the Lady Spartans.
She found out the shot went in just a little bit after everyone else.
“I had no idea. I hit the ground, and when I looked back up, the ball was already coming down,” said Frye. “Everyone swarmed me and I was just in disbelief, but as soon as I figured it out, I was excited just like the rest of them.”
The win wasn't assured until officials checked the replay to make sure time had expired.
The Eagles (10-13, 7-7 Southern Conference) trailed for most of the game, but Samantha Williams, who led the team with a career-best 18 points, hit a free throw with 1:58 remaining to tie the game, for the fourth time, at 63-63.
Williams added six rebounds and five assists to her career scoring night, in which she scored 11 before the half.
“I just felt relaxed,” Williams said. “I just came out to have fun. I haven’t had the best season as far as scoring, but the energy was awesome. I was just in the moment. Once I hit my first shot I was like, ‘Let’s go. Let’s do it.’”
Williams missed the second foul shot, but Ro-Ro Smith got the offensive board that set up a jumper by Frye to put GSU up 65-63.
Frye finished with 16 points and went a perfect 4 of 4 from the free-throw line.
“She can play the point, she can play the wing, she can play the post, she can even coach if I ever miss a game or get ejected,” said GSU coach Rusty Cram about Frye. “I’d put her in to coach. She just does it all.”
Briana Scott hit one of two free throws to put the Eagles ahead by three, but the Spartans (10-12, 7-7) weren’t done yet. Janae’ Stevenson hit a jumper to cut it to 66-65 with 1:14 to go.
Frye missed a jumper on the other end, and Stevenson got the rebound and called a timeout with 33 seconds to go.
Long-time Spartans coach Lynne Agee had her 600th-career win on the line, and she wanted the ball in Monique Floyd’s hands. The senior UNCG guard took over the game in the second half, where she scored 19 of her 27 points, and capped off the massive night by driving into the paint for a layup that put the Spartans ahead 67-66 with 4.7 seconds to go.
Floyd led all scorers and added nine rebounds, and Dayshaun Richbow scored 11 for the Spartans.
Senior point guard Jamie Navarro went 3 for 5 from behind the 3-point line for the Eagles, and it was her 3 that gave the Eagles their largest lead, 60-56, with 5:17 to go. The shot answered a 3 by true freshman Jordi Cook, who broke a 54-54 tie.
Cook and fellow freshmen Danielle Spencer and Aishya Wofford combined for 14 points.
“I went to Jordi when they were in a zone,” Cram said, “and they had to come out of it when we put her in. You’ve just got to love the way these kids are picking each other up and finding a way to get it done.”
Georgia Southern will look to improve to 10-1 in Hanner Fieldhouse when they host Elon Monday at 7 p.m. The Eagles fell to the Lady Phoenix 77-61 on the road Jan. 3.
Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.