UTC Women Rally Past Western Carolina, 55-48

Mocs Earn Program's 900th Win, Improve To 3-1 In SoCon Play

Friday, January 21, 2022
The Mocs' Amaria Pugh drives against Western Carolina's Joi Reid (12) in a game at McKenzie Arena Thursday night. Chattanooga won the SoCon matchup, 55-48, rallying from a third quarter deficit.
The Mocs' Amaria Pugh drives against Western Carolina's Joi Reid (12) in a game at McKenzie Arena Thursday night. Chattanooga won the SoCon matchup, 55-48, rallying from a third quarter deficit.
- photo by Dale Rutemayer/gomocs.com

Chattanooga battled back from a nine-point halftime deficit for its third straight win, beating Western Carolina 55-48 at The McKenzie Arena Thursday night in Southern Conference women’s basketball action.

 

The win was the 900th in program history for the Mocs, 39th best in NCAA Division I history.

The Mocs improve to 5-14 overall and 3-1 in SoCon play while WCU falls to 0-5 against the SoCon and 6-13 on the year.

 

“We adjusted and went to a 2-2-1 press,” Mocs head coach Katie Burrows said. “It’s more to slow them down so they don’t have enough clock to run the offense. Our girls did a great job finding those opportunities to get them in the corner and trap them. I was proud of the aggressiveness they took three.”

 

The Mocs came out of the gate scoring, but the Catamounts wouldn’t stay down for long. After falling behind 7-3 to start the game, Western Carolina went on a 13-4 run to take a 16-11 lead late in the first.

 

Chattanooga made it 18-16 just over a minute into the second, but the Cats retook control with a 12-2 run that included four 3-pointers to make it 30-18 with 4:31 remaining in the half. Both teams went cold the rest of the period with UTC getting just three down the stretch to trail 30-21 at the break.

 

The Mocs scored the first eight points of the third quarter and tied the game 32-32 on a 3-pointer from Brooke Hampel at the 5:33 mark of the frame. The Catamounts retook the lead and got out front 37-33 on a jumper from Bailey Trumm with 4:20 on the clock.

 

Chattanooga, however, scored the final eight points of the quarter, outscoring WCU 20-7 in the period and led 41-37 heading into the fourth.

 

“I thought our kids did a better job in the second half getting a tighter hand up on their shooters and switching higher and getting them out of position better,” Burrows said. “We played the odds and they did go cold.”

 

Western Carolina tied the game 41-41 at the start of the fourth before the Mocs pushed its lead to 46-41 with 6:10 to play. The Cats pulled to within a point less than two minutes later, but the Mocs would hold them to just three points the rest of the way to win 55-48.

 

Abbey Cornelius recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 17 points and matched her season-high with 16 rebounds for the third time this year. She added four assists and three blocked shots in the effort.

 

In the final minute, Amaria Pugh, needing just one more point to reach 1,000 for her career, beat the shot clock on a 3-pointer and brought the crowd and bench to its feet. Pugh ended the night with 11 points, three rebounds and two steals.

 

Brooke Hampel drained a pair of 3-pointers for the Mocs and was 4-of-9 from the field for 12 points.

 

Chattanooga outdueled the Cats 26-12 in the paint and had 12 assists with just nine turnovers. WCU edged UTC 35-31 on the boards and got 26 points from its bench compared to six for the Mocs.

 

In the third quarter, the Mocs shot 60 percent (6-10) and was 3-of-3 from the arc. They were 19-of-41 (46.3%) for the game and held the Catamounts to 29.3 percent (17-58) for the night.

 

Trumm was the only Western Carolina player in double figures with 11 points. She was 3-of-6 from the 3-point line and had two steals. Vanessa Oduah also had a pair of treys and added eight points with five rebounds. Nadia Marshall led WCU with nine boards and dished out five assists.

 

Chattanooga remains home to host UNCG Saturday afternoon with a 2:00 p.m. tip. Tickets are on sale at The McKenzie Arena box office or online at GoMocs.com.


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