GREENSBORO, N.C. – Fresh of its third home Southern Conference victory this season, UNCG women’s basketball is back in action Saturday evening as it takes on the Chattanooga Mocs at 4 in Fleming Gymnasium. UNCG enters the contest at 10-13 and 4-4 in SoCon play. Chattanooga defeated Western Carolina last night to improve to 14-8 and 5-3 in league action.
Live stats and a video stream will be available for tomorrow’s matchup. Stats are courtesy of UNCGStats.com with the video live on ESPN3 and the ESPN app with Jason Patterson and Phil Cox on the call. Links for these services are located on the UNCG women’s basketball schedule page.
In the all-time series, Chattanooga holds a commanding 42-7 lead. The Spartans were able to end a 23-game losing streak to the Mocs last season in an overtime matchup in Fleming Gym. In McKenzie Arena earlier this season, UNCG played tough but fell 49-42 to Chattanooga.
Last time out, Nadine Soliman (Cairo, Egypt/Mokattam Language School) and Ije Ajemba (Lanham, Md./Old Dominion) led the Spartans with 17 points apiece as UNCG upset the ETSU Bucs at home. Soliman leads the Spartans and ranks sixth in the SoCon with 14.0 points per game. Her shot from 3-point range has started to heat up. In the last two games, she has gone 10-of-12 from distance and now is tied for the team-lead with 35 made 3-pointers.
Ajemba averages a double-double with 11.7 points per game and 12.3 rebounds per game. She has proven to be one of the top rebounders in the nation ranking sixth nationally with 12.3 rebounds per game, fourth with 284 total rebounds, 19th with 4.1 offensive rebounds per game and seventh nationally with 8.3 defensive rebounds per game. She has set a new school-record with 12 double-doubles on the season and ranks 11th nationally in that category.
Sophomores Alexus Willey (Waldorf, Md./Riverdale Baptist) and Te’ja Twitty (Rutherfordton, N.C./Rutherfordton-Spindale Central) each average over nine points per game. Willey scored 13 in the matchup with ETSU and is tied with Soliman for the team lead with 35 made 3-pointers. She grabs 3.7 rebounds per game and has dished out 33 assists on the year. She’s second on the team with 17 blocks and has grabbed 17 steals this season.
Twitty adds 9.2 points per game and averages 6.3 rebounds per game. Against ETSU, Twitty grabbed a game-high 13 boards, including five offensive rebounds to go with six points. Twitty shoots 46-percent from the floor, adds 22 assists and 23 steals on the defensive end.
Brandi Fier (South Beloit, Ill./Illinois Central) and Alexis Pitchford (Orlando, Fla./Winter Park) facilitate the offense. Fier leads the team with 82 assists and scores 6.6 points per contest. Pitchford adds 46 assists and has played well defensively with 17 steals.
As a team, the Spartans rank towards the top of the SoCon defensively. UNCG limits opponents to 62.2 points per game and have a +2.2 scoring margin, also third-best in the league. The Spartan offense has been effective from the floor, shooting 41-percent good for third in the SoCon. The Spartans are also one of the top rebounding teams in the league, grabbing on average 4.7 more rebounds per game. Those rebounds have helped lead to 284 second chance points.
The Mocs are currently sitting at 5-3 and third place in the SoCon standings after defeating Western Carolina, 58-41 in Cullowhee, North Carolina. Chattanooga has won two of its last three also defeating Samford.
Chattanooga’s defense is the best in the league, limiting opponents to 55.7 points per game. The Mocs limit opponents to shooting 39-percent from the floor and 27-percent from 3-point range. They Mocs are also second in the league as they block 4.1 shots per game and average 6.6 steals per contest.
Three Mocs average double figures scoring, led by Keiana Gilbert. Gilbert averages 13.5 points per game and leads the team with an average of 38 minutes played. She shoots 46-percent from the field and averages 5.7 rebounds per game. Aryanna Gilbert adds 13.1 points per game and leads the team with 64 assists. Gilbert leads the team with 6.1 rebounds per game, grabbing a team-high 100 defensive rebounds. Lakelyn Bouldin adds 12.6 points per games and leads the team with 47 made 3-pointers.
On the defensive end, Keiana Gilbert and Arianne Whitaker have swatted 22 and 21 shots, respectively to lead Chattanooga. Bria Dial is primarily a bench player who has blocked 18 shots on the year and Aryanna Gilbert adds 16 blocks. Molly Melton missed the first matchup with the Spartans, and has missed six games but is second on the team with 26 steals. Aryanna Gilbert leads the team with 30 steals and Keiana Gilbert adds 20 steals.