GREENSBORO, N.C. – After a closely contested first half, the UNCG women’s basketball team let Chattanooga have its way with little resistance in the second stanza as the Mocs posted an 86-53 victory in the Southern Conference opener for both teams Saturday at Fleming Gymnasium.
Chattanooga did most of its damage down low, running past the Spartan defense to the hoop and recording 54 points in the paint. Thanks to that advantage, the Mocs ended up shooting 56.7 percent (34-of-60) from the field while limiting the Blue and Gold to 35.9 percent (23-of-64). Chattanooga also had a healthy advantage on the glass, pulling down 43 rebounds to UNCG’s 29. Both squads took care of the ball reasonably well as the Spartans turned it over 15 times while forcing 13 miscues by the visitors.
Senior forward Janae' Stevenson (Columbia, S.C./Eau Claire) was the only player for UNCG to score in double figures as she ended up with 14 points. Stevenson and freshman guard Bailey Williams (Harrisonburg, Va./Spotswood) both corralled six rebounds while Stevenson recorded four offensive boards.
Seeing her first extended minutes of the season was freshman guard Whitney Coleman (Cary, N.C./Cary) who scored eight points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field. She also tallied two steals and an assist.
Chattanooga netted the first four points of the game on layups before UNCG responded with a 6-0 run thanks in part to four points from freshman guard Shanese Harris (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch). The Mocs tied the score at six on a layup by Ashlen Dewart before senior guard Breonna Patterson (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) got one of her own to make it 8-6 Spartans with 15:10 on the clock.
A jumper by Stevenson afforded UNCG a 12-10 lead with 12:56 to go before halftime, but a three by Taylor Hall at the 9:05 mark pushed the Mocs in front 17-16 – a lead the visitors would not relinquish just once the rest of the afternoon. The Spartans took their final edge of the period when a jumper by Williams made the score 24-22 with 5:30 to play in the half. However, Chattanooga put the clamps down on the UNCG defense and out-scored the Blue and Gold 12-2 the rest of the way to take a 34-26 halftime lead.
Both Harris and Stevenson scored six points in the first 20 minutes while Williams corralled six rebounds. Hall and Aryanna Gilbert netted 12 and 10 respectively for UTC while Hall had five rebounds. The Mocs shot 51.9 percent in the stanza (14-of-27) and held UNCG to 38.7 percent (12-of-31). Both teams had 17 rebounds at the break.
A jumper by freshman forward Jade Scaife (Ft. Washington, Md./Archbishop Spalding) opened the second half scoring, cutting the Chattanooga lead to 34-28, but Chelsey Shumpert responded with a layup to extend the UTC lead back to eight. A fastbreak layup by Hall put the visitors in front by 10 and the Mocs were off to the races from that point. UNCG was able to slice the lead under double figures just once the rest of the game as Chattanooga went on cruise control until the final buzzer.
The Spartans will attempt to pick up their first league win of the season Monday when they host Samford at Fleming Gymnasium. The contest is scheduled to tip at 7 p.m.
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