Mocs dominate Terriers for Senior Day, 76-46
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC Athletics) — The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s basketball team put four players in double figures to lead the Mocs past Wofford, 76-46 in Southern Conference action on Senior Day at the McKenzie Arena.
The Mocs improve to 16-10 overall and 7-5 in league play while the Terriers fall to 10-18 on the year and 3-10 against the SoCon.
“They figured some stuff out,” Chattanooga head coach Jim Foster said. “When we are playing that way, moving the ball and moving ourselves, we’re a hard team to guard. We’ve been guarding ourselves as much as our opponents have been.”
Sophomore Lakelyn Bouldin was 5-of-9 from the 3-point line and led all scorers with 19 points. Sheadded in five rebounds in 31 minutes. Senior Keiana Gilbert, who was honored after the game along with her sister Aryanna, was 7-of-10 from the field with 15 points. She passed Miranda Warfield (2001-04) for 11th on the all-time scoring list with 1,377 points. She had five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Aryanna Gilbert had seven points with four assists.
Sophomore Arianne Whitaker and freshmen Brooke Burns each chipped 10 points for the Mocs. Whitaker added nine rebounds, just missing a double-double and had two blocked shots. Burns, making her first start for Chattanooga, matched her career-high for scoring and had a career-best eight rebounds, five assists and two steals.
“I think Brooke has figured some stuff out,” Foster said. “She had to get into the mold of doing the little things that would help us. When you look at the stat sheet and you see that she had eight rebounds, that’s a real good sign. Five assists and eight rebounds, we know she can put the ball in the basket. She’s learned to guard a little bit.”
Chattanooga stretched its lead to double figures just twice in the first half with the second time coming on a 3-pointer from Aryanna Gilbert just before the end of the quarter. That gave UTC a 32-22 advantage going into the half.
Whitaker and Gilbert combined on back-to-back layups before the trey to close out the first half. Keiana Gilbert and Bouldin combined on the first six points of the second half, pushing the Mocs’ lead to 38-22. Bouldin hit another layup to close out a 22-4 run by the Mocs that pushed the lead past 20 points for the first time, making it 47-26 with 4:23 to play in the third quarter.
Bouldin drained two of her five 3-pointers late in the game and the Mocs lead climbed to 31 points, 73-42, with 3:07 to play.
Chattanooga was 29-of-57 for the game, shooting 50.9 percent and matched its season-high for 3-pointers made, shooting 11-of-22. UTC outrebounded the Terriers 40-27 and dished out 19 assists, the most for UTC in a SoCon game this year.
In the paint Chattanooga outdueled Wofford 28-12 and had 12 points off 13 Terrier miscues. UTC put up 16 second chance points on 11 offensive boards and its bench contributed 15 points, led by freshman Mya Long’s career-high eight points. She was 2-of-4 from the 3-point line and had a steal in eight minutes. Shelbie Davenport had five points with three assists and Rochelle Lee hit a jumper from the top of the key.
The Mocs held Wofford to 31 percent (15-of-48) shooting on the night. The Terriers shot just 6-of-26 (23.1%) from the field in the first half but made 9-of-10 from the free throw line in the opening half.
“I think we’re a very good defensive team,” Foster said. “I thing we’ve been a very good defensive team. I think our struggles have been on offense. What I liked today, even though we were scoring and getting good shots, we never lost sight of the fact that we had to guard. Except for a couple of blips when people came off the bench and didn’t perform the actions necessary, I thought we did a very good job. I think those people made adjustments the next time they got an opportunity.”
Wofford was paced by 14 points from Da’Ja Green. Cairo Booker was 6-of-6 from the free throw line and had 10 points with a team-high three assists. Marissa Bayer chipped in eight points and game-high 10 rebounds.
Chattanooga currently is third in the SoCon standings, a game-and-a-half ahead of Furman (6-7 SoCon) who fell to second place ETSU this afternoon in Johnson City.
The Mocs will close out the season on the road at league-leading Mercer Thursday night in Macon and travel to Birmingham to take on Samford in the season-finale. Follow all the action online at GoMocs.com.