UTC Women Roll Over Western Carolina 72-58
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Chattanooga women’s basketball head coach Katie Burrows was able to clear the bench Thursday night in a 72-58 win over Western Carolina in Southern Conference action at the McKenzie Arena.
The Mocs improve to 10-11 overall and 5-1 in league play while the Catamounts drop to 4-17 on the year and 0-6 against the conference.
“We had a lot of people step up,” Burrows said. “A lot of different people. Brooke [Burns] was consistent tonight. She distributed the ball well. Arianne [Whitaker] came out 6-for-8. I can’t remember the last time she did that offensively. We needed that production from our post players.”
Burns led the Mocs with 14 points, shooting 60 percent from the field. She had five rebounds and a game-high tying four assists. Whitaker was 6-of-8 from the field with a team-high six rebounds. Lakelyn Bouldin went 5-for-5 from the free throw line and was the third Chattanooga player in double figures with 11 points and four rebounds.
Western Carolina got on the board first, scoring the first five points of the game and led by as much as four three more times in the frame. However, Mya Long capped off a 16-12 effort by the Mocs at the end of the first to cut the WCU lead to 17-16 after 10 minutes.
In the second quarter, the Mocs found their footing with a 25-11 advantage to lead 41-28 at intermission. UTC went on a 14-2 run to start the quarter, scoring the first nine points, and led 30-19 at the midway point of the period.
Shelbie Davenport scored seven of her nine points in the second quarter and closed out the period with the final five points to push the Mocs’ lead to its then-largest lead of the game.
“We were much more patient in the second quarter,” Burrows said. “Also, they weren’t shooting as well.”
Chattanooga’s bench, anchored by Whitaker and Davenport, put up 38 points compared to 11 from the thin Western Carolina reserves. The teams were evenly matched in the paint with UTC edging WCU 28-26. Abbey Cornelius matched Whitaker on the board with six rebounds and added three more blocked shots to her season total and now has 18 on the year.
From the field, Chattanooga was 25-of-58 (43.1%) and hit six 3-pointers. In 23 trips to the free throw line, UTC connected on 16 and outrebounded Western Carolina 41-38, marking the seventh time UTC has grabbed 40 or more rebounds.
Western Carolina’s Judith Martin Ruiz led all scorers with 19 points, making 7-of-14 with four from long range and had three of her team’s five steals. Gabby Smith hit for 13 points and six rebounds while Jewel Smalls had seven points, seven boards and three assists.
The Cats shot 35.5 percent (22-62) from the field and was 7-of-22 from the 3-point line. Chattanooga forced 17 turnovers that resulted in 15 points while the Catamounts had 18 points on 13 UTC miscues.
The Mocs remain at home to host UNCG Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in the first game of a doubleheader