UTC Women Beat Florida Gators 65-60

(gomocs.com0 GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga used a third quarter comeback to take down its fourth Power 5 conference school this year, defeating Florida 65-60 at Exactech Arena. The Mocs improve to 8-4 overall and the Gators fall to 6-5.

Senior Aryanna Gilbert posted her first career double-double with a team-high 20 points and 12 rebounds. She was 7-of-16 from the field and 4-of-4 at the charity stripe. Sophomore Arianne Whitaker also recorded her first double-double with the Mocs scoring a season-high 10 points and grabbing 10 boards. She was 5-of-8 and had five offensive rebounds in 34 minutes.

Senior Keiana Gilbert had 16 points and six assists with two steals while sophomore Lakelyn Bouldin was the fourth UTC player with double digit points scoring 14 points on 2-of-5 shooting from the 3-point line.

Chattanooga’s narrow 13-11 advantage at the end of the first quarter was quickly erased by halftime. Florida outscored the Mocs 25-13 in the second quarter to take a 36-26 lead into intermission.

Aryanna Gilbert started off the third quarter with the first of her two 3-pointers. Her second long ranger at the 8:15 mark of the frame sparked a 24-7 Chattanooga run over the next 10:11, capped off by Gilbert, giving UTC a 55-48 lead with 8:04 to play in the contest. She had 11 of the Mocs points in the onslaught.

Florida would retake the lead with a 9-0 run over the next 3:13 to lead 57-55. It would be all Chattanooga for the final three minutes.

Whitaker’s layup at the 2:09 mark of the fourth tied the game 57-57. Keiana Gilbert forced a turnover and converted her steal into a fastbreak layup to put the Mocs up 59-57 with 1:47 to play. Florida’s Delicia Washington hit a 3-pointer to give the Gators a 60-59 lead with 56 seconds remaining.

On the offensive end, Whitaker put back a missed shot to give UTC the lead for good at 61-60 with 25 seconds to go. Whitaker grabbed a defensive rebound and Florida, with fouls to give, fouled the Mocs on the next three throw-ins.

With 5.1 seconds to play, Bouldin drew a foul and dropped in both free throws, stretching Chattanooga’s lead to 63-60. On the Florida possession, freshman Bria Dial got her third block of the game, rejecting a Gator 3-point attempt and Aryanna Gilbert grabbed the rebound. After drawing the foul with 0.9 seconds to play, she hit both free throws for the final 65-60 score.

The Mocs were 26-of-69 (37.7%) for the game and 5-of-23 from the 3-point line. After just two free throws in the first half, the Mocs ended the game 8-of-9 from the charity stripe.

Florida’s Funda Nakkasoglu led all scorers with 21 points. Haley Lorenzen was 6-of-9 with 14 points and 12 rebounds while Delicia Washington had 12 points and a game-best 13 rebounds. The Gators shot 35.9 percent (23-of-64) for the game and was 10-of-12 from the free throw line.

UTC edged Florida 34-30 in paint and had 12 points off 12 Florida turnovers while getting 11 second chance points on 14 offensive rebounds.

The Mocs defeated Indiana and Northwestern of the Big 10 and Auburn of the SEC earlier this season.

Chattanooga will take on Princeton in the final game of the Gator Holiday Classic Thursday afternoon with a 2:30 p.m. tip-off.

Categories: College, Sports, Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UTC Mocs

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