The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s basketball team outscored Wofford 28-17 in the second half to come away with a 54-47 victory Thursday night at Richardson Indoor Stadium. Chattanooga runs its win streak against the Terriers to 41 straight games.
Chattanooga improves to 12-6 overall and 3-1 in league play while the Terriers move to 9-11 on the year and 2-3 against the SoCon.
“I thought that at some point we would get to be cohesive,” Chattanooga head coach Jim Foster said.
“We were sounder, we guarded. Communication was better and we ratcheted it up on the defensive end.”
After leading 30-26 at the half, Wofford put together an 11-0 run to start the third and led 41-26 with 6:11 to play in the frame for its largest lead of the game.
Chattanooga responded with a 13-0 run to close out the quarter and trailed the Terriers 41-39 at the end of the third. In the run, Keiana Gilbert and Bria Dial each had five points and Aryanna Gilbert drained a 3-pointer as the Mocs pushed back.
“Offensively we were more patient and taking advantage of opportunities that were there,” Foster said. “What we started doing in the fourth quarter was rebounding. Everybody took responsibility. Even though we had the smaller lineup, we did a much better job.”
The fourth quarter started out with two lead changes and one tie. Wofford missed a 3-pointer and the Mocs converted that into a layup by Keiana Gilbert on the other end to put the Mocs up 48-47 at the 3:46 mark, sparking an 8-0 run to close out the game.
On the ensuing play, Chattanooga took advantage of a Terrier miscue and freshman Mya Long drove the lane for a layup, stretching the lead to 50-47 with 3:06 remaining. The Mocs made four free throws over the remainder of the game for the final score.
Keiana Gilbert led all scorers with 20 points and added six rebounds and two assists. Aryanna Gilbert had eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Long added a career-high seven points in the mix and Bria Dial had six points and matched her career-best with three blocked shots.
“Bria is a player that does a lot of stat things,” Foster said. “She made a three. She got a layup on a back-cut, she blocked three shots, she had a couple of rebounds, she had an assist, she had a steal, she gets her hand on a lot of basketballs. Her length, people think they are open for a three and she gets a piece of a lot of balls.”
The Mocs outscored the Terriers 34-22 in the paint and had 12 points off 15 miscues. They had eight second chance points to Wofford’s four on eight offensive rebounds. Chattanooga shot 41.5 percent for the game making 22-of-53 from the field and was 4-of-16 from the 3-point line.
UTC, ranked second in the nation for fewest fouls per game, committed just six fouls. That was just one shy of its fewest this season.
“Since we got here, we have not committed many fouls in the second half,” Foster said. “That’s a huge stat. We committed six fouls and they only took two foul shots. They are not getting into the bonus and they are not getting free opportunities. When you win a game by as few points as we did, that is huge.”
Wofford, led by Emily Ryan’s 12 points, all on 3-pointers, was 19-of 59 (32.2%) for the game and was 7-of-23 from the arc. Cairo Booker had nine points and six rebounds while Jamari McDavid and Marissa Bayer each added eight points.
The Terriers outdueled the Mocs on the boards 38-34 and got 19 points from its bench.
Chattanooga remains on the road to take on Furman Saturday afternoon at Timmons Arena. The game is set to tip off at 2:00 p.m. Follow all the action online at GoMocs.com.