Season Ends For UTC Women With Double OT Loss to UNCG in SoCon Tournament
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The old adage “save the best for last” was quite appropriate in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament presented by General Shale. Sixth-seeded UNCG escaped U.S. Cellular Center with a 70-66 double-overtime win over No. 3 Chattanooga in Thursday’s final game.
Mangela Ngandjui (18) and Alexus Willey (16) combined for 34 points off the bench to lead the Spartans. Ije Ajemba added 13 points and 15 rebounds. Brooke Burns led the Mocs with 36, a school record in the SoCon tournament.
Burns’ last-second layup in regulation sent the game into overtime. There, the Spartans scored the first five points for a 58-53 advantage. Burns scored the next five points to knot the score at 58-all as the Mocs forced turnovers on three straight possessions, sending it into the final minute.
Nadine Soliman’s long-range effort was off the mark, but Ngandjui was in position, grabbing the board, and her putback made it 60-58. A missed 3-pointer for UTC was followed by a shot-clock violation on the Spartans’ end. Burns came up big again with a late layup, but a free-throw miss on the and-one attempt set up a second extra period.
Nagandju triple answered by Burns’ kept the game tied 63-63. Burns got another, so Ngandjui matched her for a 66-66 tally with 1:17 to go. The final minute went to UNCG. Brandi Fier’s jumper with 29 seconds left could not be answered by the Mocs as a contested miss in the paint and subsequent foul allowed Soliman to ice the game with two free throws.
Ngandjui score 10 of her 18 in the extra frames to key the win.
The Mocs played without injured first-team All-SoCon selection Keiana Gilbert, and third-team pick Lakelyn Bouldin, who was not in attendance due to the death of her father earlier this week. The duo accounted for 43.6 percent of the team’s scoring this season.