Mocs Sweep Challenge in Music City with Win Over Auburn
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UTC Athletics) — Chattanooga completed the sweep Sunday afternoon with a 50-41 win over Auburn in women’s basketball action in the Challenge in Music City at the Municipal Auditorium.
The Mocs improve to 5-3 on the year with their fifth straight win while Auburn evens its mark at 3-3 overall.
Chattanooga held the Tigers scoreless through the first 13:29, scoring 16 points before Auburn broke the seal in the second quarter. That would lead to a 15-10 scoring advantage for the Tigers in the period. Chattanooga led 23-15 at halftime.
Auburn was 0-for-12 in the first quarter while the Mocs were 4-of-11 (36.4%) in the frame with a pair of 3-pointers and 3-for-3 from the free throw line. Sophomore Arianne Whitaker grabbed four rebounds in the opening 10 minutes, holding the Tigers to just seven rebounds to the Mocs’ 12.
The Tigers played a strong second period making 7-of-13 (53.8%) from the field but the Mocs had a 40 percent performance in the frame to keep the lead. Janiah McKay led all scorers in the quarter with eight points making 4-of-5 shots.
“They are very athletic and they come after you,” Chattanooga head coach Jim Foster said. “When you haven’t played against the kind of athleticism, the tendency is to go faster than you should. Ball fakes are invaluable against a team like that and it is one reason Shelbie Davenport had success. When she got into the game she played a little bit slower and she used ball fakes which created opportunities to score.”
The Mocs added four points to its lead in the third quarter, but the Tigers would once again strike back outscoring UTC 18-15 in the fourth.
Chattanooga led 39-25 with 8:15 to play but the Mocs would see that lead dwindle to 44-39 with 42 seconds remaining after a 14-5 Auburn run. Sophomore Lakelyn Bouldin drew a foul with 35 seconds to play and connected on both free throws to make it 46-39 with 35 seconds to play.
Auburn’s Jessica Jones was called for an offensive foul on the ensuing possession and that would convert into a layup by Keiana Gilbert, pushing the Mocs’ lead to 48-39 with 29 second on the clock. McKay hit a layup for the Tigers, but a pair of free throws by Aryanna Gilbert closed out the scoring with eight seconds to play at 50-41.
Keiana Gilbert with a team-high 15 points and seven rebounds was named the Challenge in Music City MVP. She averaged a team-best 13.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
Joining her in double figures are Bouldin with 11 points and Aryanna Gilbert with 10 points and four rebounds. The pair combined to go 13-of-13 from the free throw line. Gilbert made all eight of her attempts, 10th best in UTC history for made free throws without a miss.
Junior Shelbie Davenport played a season-high 28 minutes with nine points and sophomore Arianne Whitaker had a team-high seven rebounds to go along with five points and three blocked shots.
Chattanooga shot 44.1 percent from the field making 15-of-34 and was 4-of-12 from the 3-point line while draining 16-of-20 from the charity stripe. The Mocs outrebounded Auburn 34-28 and scored 18 points off 11 Tiger miscues.
McKay led all scorers with 18 points and four assists. Tiffany Lewis added eight points and Jessica Jones and Justice Wright each had five rebounds. The Tigers were without Unique Thompson who was injured against Northwestern on Saturday. She averages a double-double and leads the team in rebounds.
Chattanooga returns home for a three-game stretch beginning with a double-header on Saturday, December 2 against Tennessee-Martin. The game is set to tip off at 2 p.m. at the McKenzie Arena. Tickets are on sale at the McKenzie Arena box office and online at GoMocs.com.
Keiana Gilbert (MVP) – UT-Chattanooga
Janiah McKay – Auburn
Abi Scheid – Northwestern
Mikayla Venson – Georgetown
CHALLENGE IN MUSIC CITY RESULTS
Friday, Nov. 24
Chattanooga 61, Northwestern 44
Auburn 60, Georgetown 40
Saturday, Nov. 25
Northwestern 49, Auburn 48
Chattanooga 54, Georgetown 41
Sunday, Nov. 26
Georgetown 55, Northwestern 54
Chattanooga 50, Auburn 41