CHATTANOOGA, TN – UNC Greensboro got 17 points from Gini Grimsley, but Southern Conference leader Chattanooga lived up to its billing Wednesday as the Lady Mocs topped the Spartans, 70-53.
Lakiah Hyson and Monique Floyd had nine points each for the Spartans (6-8, 3-2 SoCon), who lost their second straight in league play after opening 3-0.
Jenaya Wade-Fray scored a game-high 18 points for Chattanooga (9-5, 5-0 SoCon), which won its 27th straight SoCon regular-season game. Shanara Hollinquest was also in double figures with 13 for the Lady Mocs. Erin Ogan just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.
UNCG led just once in the contest, when Grimsley hit a jumper 29 seconds in to give the Spartans a 2-0 advantage. A Monique Floyd steal and layup tied it at 4, but that was the last time UNCG would not trail. UTC pushed its lead to 15-7 before a Grimsley 3-pointer and layup pulled the Spartans to within three, but that was as close as UNCG would get the rest of the way.
A Megan Rollins 3 ignited an 8-0 UTC run to make it 23-12, but a Hyson jumper and a pair of Sarah Folwell free throws got UNCG back within six. Chattanooga stretched it back to nine at 27-18, but Folwell hit a 3 and Hyson turned a Floyd steal into a fastbreak layup to get the Spartans back within four.
Wade-Fray sandwiched four free throws around a Hollinquest layup over the next minute and a half to put UTC back up by 10, but Hyson's free throw with 54 seconds left before the half kept the UNCG deficit in single digits.
Tenisha Townsend put an end to that with a layup that put the Lady Mocs up by 11 and Hollinquest added a layup of her own as time expired in the first half to give UTC a 37-24 lead at the break.
Grimsley came out firing out of halftime, hitting a 3 to cut it to 10, but Wade-Fray answered with one of her own on the other end, and UNCG never got closer than 13 from that point on. The Lady Mocs stretched their lead to as many as 29 in cruising to the win.
The Spartans did end the game on a 12-0 run, holding Chattanooga scoreless for the final 4:50. Dee Corbett got the run started with a layup, and Ashley Mullins had all six of her points in the closing 3:03. Mullins hit a 3-pointer, a layup and the front end of a two-shot foul in the run.
UNCG dominated in the paint, outscoring UTC 20-12 despite a 43-31 disadvantage on the boards. The Spartans also forced 22 turnovers and turned them into 26 points, but saw Chattanooga hit three more 3-pointers and attempt 15 more free throws than UNCG.
Grimsley, who scored just two points on 1-for-13 shooting in a 44-41 loss at Samford on Monday to see her streak of consecutive games in double figures end at six, reached 10 points within the first 10 minutes of the game. The Fairmont, NC, native scored 10 of UNCG's first 12 points Wednesday, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in that span to snap out of her shooting slump.
"Obviously, we're disappointed in the outcome of this game," UNCG coach Lynne Agee said. "The bottom fell out on us. I was disappointed in our lack of effort and focus. There are no excuses. We've been on the road a lot, but we still need to put forth a better effort than what we did. Once they got the lead, we didn't have the energy or the wherewithal to stage a comeback or make a run, and that finished us.
"On the upside, we did get a chance to play some young
people, and we saw some good things. So, we'll take that and
move on to Davidson."
The Spartans return to action on Jan. 5 when they host Davidson in a SoCon game at 3 p.m. at Fleming Gym.
CHATTANOOGA 70, UNC GREENSBORO 53
UNC GREENSBORO (6-8/3-2)
Gini Grimsley 7-13 0-0 17; Lakiah Hyson 4-10 1-2 9; Monique Floyd 4-11 1-2 9; Ashley Mullins 2-4 1-2 6; Sarah Folwell 1-5 2-2 5; TaShama Banner 2-6 1-1 5; Dee Corbett 1-2 0-0 2; Jazz Weaver 0-0 0-0 0; Agneta Morkunaite 0-1 0-0 0; Kendra Smith 0-1 0-0 0; Amanda Leigh 0-6 0-0 0; Agne Girstautaite 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-59 6-9 53.
Jenaya Wade-Fray 4-9 7-8 18; Shanara Hollinquest 4-10 5-9 13; Lacondra Mason 3-6 3-3 9; Erin Ogan 4-9 1-2 9; Bailey Dewart 3-4 0-0 8; Tenisha Townsend 2-2 0-0 5; Tagan Hatchett 1-6 0-0 3; Megan Rollins 1-2 0-0 3; Anelia Murray 1-1 0-0 2; Capriee Tucker 0-0 0-0 0; Kori Penland 0-1 0-2 0; Andrea Neil 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 23-53 16-24 70.
UNC Greensboro 24 29 53
Chattanooga 37 33 70
3-point goals--UNC Greensboro 5-19 (Gini Grimsley 3-5; Sarah Folwell 1-2; Ashley Mullins 1-3; Amanda Leigh 0-5; Monique Floyd 0-1; Lakiah Hyson 0-3), Chattanooga 8-18 (Jenaya Wade-Fray 3-4; Bailey Dewart 2-3; Megan Rollins 1-1; Tenisha Townsend 1-1; Tagan Hatchett 1-4; Andrea Neil 0-3; Erin Ogan 0-1; Lacondra Mason 0-1). Fouled out--UNC Greensboro-None, Chattanooga-None. Rebounds--UNC Greensboro 31 (Gini Grimsley 6), Chattanooga 43 (Erin Ogan 10). Assists--UNC Greensboro 11 (Lakiah Hyson 3; Monique Floyd 3), Chattanooga 13 (Jenaya Wade-Fray 4). Total fouls--UNC Greensboro 20, Chattanooga 10. Technical fouls--UNC Greensboro-None, Chattanooga-None. A-1667
- UNCG -