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

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