UTC Women Hang on to Win SoCon Opener 53-50 Over ETSU
(gomocs.com) JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — The Chattanooga Mocs held off ETSU down the stretch Thursday night inside Brooks Gym to beat the Bucs 53-50 in the Southern Conference opener for both teams in women’s basketball action.
Chattanooga improves to 9-7 overall and 1-0 in league play while ETSU moves to 13-4 on the year and 0-1 in the SoCon. The win improves the Mocs advantage in the series to 63-25 all-time and is UTC’s 29th victory in Johnson City in 43 tries.
The Mocs entered the fourth quarter with a 44-34 lead and grew the lead to 13 points, their largest, just minutes into the period on a 3-pointer from Sigrun Olafsdottir. ETSU reeled off the next five points to cut the lead to 47-39, but a pair of free throws by Yazz Wazeerud-Din pushed the Mocs advantage back to double figures, 49-39 with 6:50 to play.
The Bucs, however, continued its push, outscoring UTC 11-2 over the next 6:30 to get to within one point, 51-50, with 21 seconds left on the clock. Chattanooga committed a turnover on a bad pass, but the Bucs were unable to take advantage, missing a layup.
Abbey Cornelius grabbed her ninth rebound of the game on the miss and sent an outlet pass to Olafsdottir. ETSU’s Nevaeh Brown grabbed Olafsdottir for the foul and was called for an intentional for holding on too long and redirecting the Mocs’ guard.
Wazeerud-Din went to the line with 6.4 seconds to play and made 1-of-2 from the line to put UTC up 52-50. Chattanooga was awarded the ball after the intentional foul and Addie Grace Porter took the inbounds pass and was immediately fouled and sent to the line with 4.7 seconds on the clock.
She would make one-of-two herself and the Bucs came away with the rebound and drove the length of the court. Brown’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer fell off the left to give the Mocs the win.
Wazeerid-Din finished the game with a game-high tying 19 points and was 4-of-10 from beyond the arc. Raven Thompson scored 17 points including a 9-of-10 performance from the free throw line. She added seven rebounds. Porter had a game-high 13 rebounds and had three assists. Abbey Cornelius had nine boards in the game pushing her career total to 803. She added a pair of blocked shots and had four points.
Chattanooga shot 45.8 percent in the first half, but struggled from the field in the second to end the game at just 34 percent (17-50) for the game. From beyond the arc, the Mocs were 6-of-21, but flourished at the free throw line once again making 13-of-16 attempts.
ETSU was led in scoring by Jiselle Thomas who had a game-best 19 points, tied with Wazeerud-Din to go along with six rebounds. Kendall Folley was also in double digits for the Bucs with 12 points and had seven rebounds. ETSU was 19-of-59 (32.2%) from the field and 5-of-17 from deep while making 7-of-9 from the charity stripe.
UTC outrebounded the Bucs 40-34. Chattanooga scored just four points off 10 offensive rebounds while ETSU had seven points on 11 boards off the offensive glass. Eighteen turnovers cost the Mocs 13 points while UTC scored six points off 11 Buc miscues.
FROM THE MOCS HEAD COACH
On getting the first win on Southern Conference play
“ETSU was a 13-3 team in the Top 20 in the mid-major. For three quarters I thought we were the better basketball team. They made it a dog fight down the stretch. They’re a really good basketball team, but so are we. To play three-and-a half quarters and get a win on the road in this league, 1-0, we get another week to think about it and more practice.”
– Abbey Cornelius did not start the game due to illness earlier in the week. Takia Davis, a sophomore transfer, made her first collegiate start.
– ETSU led the game 6-4 with 7:35 to play in the first. Chattanooga took a 9-6 lead on a 3-pointer from Sigrun Olafsdottir at the 4:41 mark of the first and never trailed again.
– The Bucs outscored the Mocs 11-2 in over a 6:29 stretch in the fourth quarter to cut the Mocs’ lead to 51-50 with 21 seconds to play and did not score again.
Chattanooga: 9-7, 1-0 SoCon
ETSU: 13-4, 0-1 SoCon
Chattanooga leads 63-25 overall and 29-14 in Johnson City.
Chattanooga will host Samford Thursday, Jan. 12 at The McKenzie Arena (Black Out game) and Mercer on Saturday, Jan. 14 (White Out game).