DAVIDSON, N.C. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga ran its win streak to 14 straight games in a 76-62 win over Davidson Saturday afternoon at Belk Arena. Chattanooga improves to 18-3 overall and 10-0 in Southern Conference action while the Wildcats drop to 10-11 on the year and 7-3 against the league.
Freshman Chelsey Shumpert (Paducah, Ky.) got the scoring started with a layup in the first 30 seconds of the game sparking an 11-2 run capped off by a jumper from senior Taylor Hall (New Tazewell, Tenn.) with 16:19 on the clock. Davidson responded by outscoring UTC 16-15 over the next 5:57 to cut the lead to 26-18 with 10:11 to play in the half and that’s as close as it would get the rest of the way.
Chattanooga never trailed in the game and led by as much as 22 points, twice. The first came early in the second half on senior Alex Black’s (Memphis, Tenn.) fourth 3-pointer of the game to make it 52-30 with 17:18 to play. The second was less than three minutes on a fastbreak layup by sophomore Tatianna Jackson (Atlanta, Ga.) assisted by Shumpert with 14:35 to play.
Davidson used a 12-2 run over the 4:13 to cut into Chattanooga’s lead but it would get no closer than 12 points over the remainder of the game as UTC went on to claim its 26th straight SoCon win.
Hall led Chattanooga with 17 points, scoring nine in the final 15 minutes. She just missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Black went 4-of-5 from the 3-point line just missing her career-high for points with 16 on the day. Shumpert had eight points, six rebounds and dished out a game-high five assists.
Freshman Jasmine Joyner (Southaven, Miss.) played a career-high 24 minutes after senior Ashlen Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C.) drew a third foul early in the second half and senior Faith Dupree (Knoxville, Tenn.) out with an injury moments later. Once into the lineup, Joyner made her mark tying the school record for blocked shots in a single game with seven. She added seven points and career-high eight rebounds.
Joyner tied Alex Anderson (2004-08) who twice had seven blocked shots and closed out her career with a school record 221. Anderson will be inducted into UTC’s Hall of Fame next month.
Davidson was led in scoring by Laura Murray who had a game-high 26 points making 10-of-20 from the field with just a pair of 3-pointers. Shneeka Centers had 10 points for the Wildcats with six rebounds and Hannah Early added nine points with six rebounds. Dakota Dukes had a team-best eight boards and six points along with four assists, three steals and two blocked shots.
UTC edged Davidson in the paint 34-30 and had 17 second chance points off 16 offensive rebounds compared to the Wildcats’ seven points on nine boards. Chattanooga started the game making each of its first six baskets and closed out the game making 46.7 percent (28-60) of its shots and was 7-of-17 from the 3-point line and 13-of-15 from the free throw line. The Lady Mocs’ bench contributed 25 points to Davidson’s 18 and had 11 fast break points.
Post-game comments of Head Coach Jim Foster
On Jasmine Joyner’s seven blocks:
“She is a great shot-blocker. She is as good a shot-blocker as I have coached and I have coached some pretty good ones.”
“She is not ordinary with that talent. She has a real instinct for it and is very disciplined. She doesn’t come down. She extends straight up, which is what a really great shot blocker has to do so she doesn’t get into foul trouble.
People stepping up off the bench:
“I think we have a lot of players who are capable of doing certain things very well and playing within the framework of who you are and understanding who you are. It makes a huge difference and an example of that would be Jas. She knows she is a good shot-blocker. She knows she has a good set of hands. She will catch anything you throw up at her and she plays to her strengths.”
On the play of Alex Black:
“Alex is a two guard that has had to play point. Her instincts and her strengths are at the off-guard. IT took her a little while, maybe the first third of the season, to get used to playing without the ball and now she is doing a very good job. As a result, shooting percentage is going up and she is playing good basketball.”
On winning the battle on the glass:
“If your offense is running the way it should and the ball is moving and we know when a shot is going to take place, we are going to get a large number of rebounds, or not, depending on how we shoot the ball. I think today was an example of that. When the ball moved, we moved.”
Chattanooga will remain on the road with a matchup Monday night at Georgia Southern. The Eagles are 7-13 overall and 5-4 in league play. The game is set to tip at 7 p.m.