Lady Mocs Face Syracuse in NCAAs Today

Saturday, March 22, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

As Cinderella has effectively danced across the men’s NCAA basketball bracket in impressive style this weekend, Chattanooga hopes to join the victory hugs and cheers of other triumphant under dogs come Saturday afternoon against Syracuse in the women’s field of 64.

6 vs.

11 - The No.11 Lady Mocs (29-3), and winners of an impressive 25 straight games, faces No.6 Syracuse (22-9) in Lexington, Ky. today at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

Syracuse is 0-4 in NCAA tournament play, while it’s been a decade since current UTC assistant coach Katie Galloway Burrows led the Blue and Gold (1-11 in NCAA play) to an upset of Rutgers in McKenzie Arena on opening weekend of March Madness.

Journey to 30: A victory against The Orange would give this UTC team a single season school record of 30 wins.

UTC coach Jim Foster as a good blend of seniors (five) and underclassmen (starts two freshmen) and last week gave a brief synopsis of each player.

The Lady Mocs

Chelsey Shumpert  (Fr. G  5-4) … 7.1 ppg … 2.2 rbpg … 1.8 assists

“terrific freshman year … continues to improve with experience … strengths are her ability to make the 3 and to pressure the ball on defense.”

Aryanna Gilbert (Fr. G/F 5-9) … 4.5 ppg … 2.0 rbpg

“physically gifted … has quickness and strength … very good defender …

Alex Black (Sr. G  5-8) … 6.8 ppg .. 2.0 rbpg … 1.0 assists

“has terrific pull up jumper … good from 3-point range (38.7%)  … has quickness”

Alicia “Red” Payne (So. G  5-9) … 2.9 ppg … 2.0 rbpg

“terrific defender … takes care of the ball … brings lots of energy into the game (off the bench)”

Whitney Hartlage (Fr. G  5-8) … 2.3 ppg … 0.6 rbpg

“has improved a great deal this season … very good passer … good stand still shooter”

Meghan Downes (Sr. G  5-9) … 5.3 ppg … 1.1 rbpg … 1.1 assists

“has had a solid year … field goal percentage has improved (42.5%) … assist-turnover ratio is best in her career (34-18).”

Ka’vonne Towns (Jr. G/F  5-10) … 5.4 ppg … 2.3 rbpg

“a diverse player … good 3-pt. shooter(30.5%)  … can defend playing a variety of positions … a good decision maker with the ball.””

Tatianna Jackson (So. G  5-10) …  4.3 ppg … 3.3 rbpg

”terrific defender … can attack the basket and getting better at it … very good offensive rebounder”

Moses Johnson (Fr. F 6-0) … 1.8 ppg … 1.6 rbpg

“athletic and learning how to use that athleticism… learning how to play quick and fast … very good offensive rebounder … has good instincts around the basket.

Taylor Hall (Sr. F/G 6-1) … 14.9 ppg … 8.6 rbpg … 4.3 assists

“fundamentally sound … has real sense in how to play the game … terrific instincts … quick, strong and anticipates well … can play four positions.”

Must Have an AirCraft Carrier:

The late hall of fame coach Al McGuire said to win big in the NCAA tourney you have to have an aircraft carrier (big center) in the middle … UTC has three.

Faith DuPree (Sr. C 6-3) … 6.4 ppg … 3.5 rbpg

“solid ... good fundamental … very good mid-range jumper … runs the floor with sneaky effectiveness”

Ashlen Dewart (Sr. C 6-3) ... 10.1 ppg … 5.1 rbpg

“terrific touch … good rebounder … better than average passer”

Jasmine “Jazz” Joyner (Fr. C 6-2) … 3.8 ppg … 3.3 rbpg … 2.2 blocks

“has great timing … terrific shot blocker … much better touch around the basket and on the perimeter than most people understand  … she has learned to play hard.”

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net


South Pittsburg, Union City Top 1A Coaches' Poll

The same two teams that fought to the final buzzer in last year’s Class 1A BlueCross Bowl in Cookeville sit atop this year’s preseason coaches’ poll, conducted by Tennessee high school football guru Murphy Fair. Union City’s Golden Tornadoes garnered the most first-place votes but when all the numbers were counted, South Pittsburg had the same number of points. Here’s ... (click for more)

Twelve Area Players Chosen TSWA All-State In Soccer

Twelve area players have been voted to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association all-state boys soccer teams. Making the Division II team were Baylor's Colin Brewer, Rafael Gaglianone and Austin Maize. In Class AAA, Ooltewah's Leudy Franco and East Hamilton's Jose Orellana were selected. Signal Mountain's Adam Pickett and Connor Apthorp were chosen from Signal Mountain in ... (click for more)

Erlanger Health System Projecting $10.8 Million Profit - With Help From $19 Million In Federal Funds

Erlanger Health System is projecting a $10.8 million profit for the upcoming fiscal year - with the help of $19 million in federal funds from a pool for public hospitals. The $19 million received in time for the current budget helped avoid a sizable deficit. The hospital is hoping the federal funds will be coming on an annual basis. At the start of the last fiscal year, ... (click for more)

History Center Gets $400,000 Grant From National Endowment For The Arts

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded grants totaling more than $800,000 to three Tennessee projects that aim to display and preserve historical materials. Winning grants Monday included the Chattanooga History Center, which will get $400,000 to install a permanent, multimedia exhibit on the history of Chattanooga. The University of Tennessee-Knoxville will ... (click for more)

Vote To Retain Supreme Court Justices

On Aug. 7 or by voting early by Aug. 2, voters will choose to "retain" or "replace" Tennessee Supreme Court Justices Connie Clark, Sharon Lee and Gary Wade. If retained, they will serve for another eight years.  The retention election is a way to retain judges who make decisions based on the law and facts -or remove judges who are incompetent. Tennessee's Judicial Performance ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Judge Philyaw Is The Best

Tomorrow morning there will be a special gathering at the Hamilton County Juvenile Court that will prove to our community that we have perhaps the most innovative juvenile judge in America. Shortly after Rob Philyaw was hand-picked by our Hamilton County Commissioners to fill the remainder of Suzanne Bailey’s term 15 months ago, he found that truancy was a big problem in our schools. ... (click for more)