Thursday, November 21, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
Chattanooga freshman guard Chesley Shumpert lists NBA star Kobe Bryant as her favorite player.
In tonight's 63-56 women's college basketball win against visiting Alabama-Birmingham, Shumpert (5-4) played like a smaller version of Bryant as she knocked down her first college shot - a 3-pointer - cold off the bench to give the Mocs an offensive spark.
UAB led 12-9 before Shumpert's 3 tied the game at 12-12 at 8:19 and keyed a 19-8 run ending with a 30-20 UTC halftime lead.
"We brought her in the game when (point guard) Red Payne picked up two fouls and she responded by playing like she has been practicing," said UTC coach Jim Foster.
"Her first three weeks with the team was a train wreck (trying to adjust to D-I college basketball), but she has done well the last three weeks."
Far from a train off track in the UAB win and more like a well-precisioned locomotive on track, Shumpert scored 10, first half points as the Mocs went from down 3 (12-9 at 9:53) to up 10 at 30-20 by intermission.
"I am so proud of her (Chelsey) the way she came in off bench when we were not doing well and she was not nervous at all," said senior center Ashlen Dewart who contributed with 10 points and four rebounds (only 3 pts in the first half).
More than a one-woman team, UTC also had contributions from Ka'Vonne Towns with 12 points, 1 assist and 3 steals, while senior Taylor Hall had her first career double-double (15 pts., 10 rebs.), plus tying her career best with seven assists.
UAB (2-3) was led in scoring by Karisma Chapman with 15 plus 10 rebounds, Ashley Grimes with 12 points and Chelsee Black with 11.
First Half: In a game which had five lead changes - all in the first half - UTC led 8-6 before UAB went on a short 6-1 run for a 12-9 advantage at 9:53 on a jumper by Khoria Newman. Insert Shumpert in the game and in a 10-minute span, the Mocs led by the aforementioned 10.
Second Half: Led by Dupree's four points, the Mocs had their largest lead of 17, twice, the final time at 48-31 at 13:23.
UAB Rally: UAB then outscored UTC, 16-3, in just under seven minutes to trail by four at 51-47 at 5:51. Kayla Anderson's six points along with seven from Chapman and Ashley Grimes with five sparked the Blazer rally.
But layups by Dewart and Hall pushed the Mocs lead to eight (55-47, 3:39). UAB pulled within four again at 2:24 (55-51) on a pair of baskets by Chapman, but the visitors could get no closer.
Points from Hall (4), Dewart (2) and Tatianna Jackson (2) in the final 2:15 secured the win.
100 Career Rebounds: Faith Dupree had four rebounds to give her 101 for a career.
Nearing the Century Mark: Taylor Hall had one steal tonight and needs four to reach 100 ... also needs 16, 3s to reach 100 .... Meghan Downes had 3 assists tonight ... needs 11 for 100.
Going For 30 Straight: UTC improves to 3-1 on the season, has now won 29 straight home games over two plus seasons and goes for No. 30 Sunday hosting Auburn at 2 p.m.
Ironically, the current win streak started with a victory against UAB,65-59, Nov 11, 2011.
Last Home Loss: UTC's last home loss was March 6, 2011 to Samford,68-66, in overtime in the Southern Conference tournament semis in McKenzie Arena.
Nation's Longest Home Win Streak: Chattanooga owns the nation's second longest current home win streak in women's basketball behind Baylor with 61.
61 - Baylor U. won vs. Savannah (Ga.) State, 99-31 tonight
29 - Chattanooga won vs. Alabama-Birmingham, 63-56 tonight
Stats: Points in the Paint: UAB (36-28), Points Off Turnovers: UTC (11-8), 2nd Chance Pts. (10-10), Fast Break Points: UTC (6-2), Points From the Bench:UTC (31-6)
Freshmen Steal the Spotlight: Chattanooga Freshmen were front and center before and during the win against UAB ... Moses Johnson (Atlanta) did an excellent job of singing the national anthem, while point guard Chelsey Shumpert scored 12 points (5-5 FGs) along with 4 rebounds in 19 minutes ... Six Varsity Letters: Shumpert played an impressive six years of varsity basketball for Tilghman HS (Paducah, Ky.) ...she was on the team as a seventh grader so as to play one year with her older sister, Natalie.
Johnson sang the national anthem prior to her high school games for three years at Greenforest-McCalep Christian Academy ... growing up in the church - her late mother was a pastor - Moses began singing in the choir at the age of 3 and has been carrying a good tune on and off the court for several years.
UTC 63, UAB 56
UAB -- 20-36 -- 56
UTC - 30-33 -- 63
Records UTC (3-1) UAB (2-3)
UAB (56) - Karisma Chapman (15-10), Ashley Grimes (12-3), Chelsee Black (11-1), Kayla Anderson (10-3), Khoria Newman (4-1), Brittany Winborne (2-5), Janeka Williams (0-2), Miranda Burroughs (0-1), Dy'man Webb (2-4)
Chattanooga (63) - Chelsey Shumpert (12-4), Ka'Vonne Towns (12-5), Taylor Hall (10-10), Ashlen Dewart (10-4), Faith Dupree (7-4), Tatianna Jackson (9-5), Meghan Downes (3-2), Alex Black (0-1), Alicia Red Payne (0-1), Aryanna Gilbert (0-0)
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com