Lady Mocs 49-45 over Villanova in Tip-Off Challenge - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Lady Mocs 49-45 over Villanova in Tip-Off Challenge

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (GoMocs.com) --- University of Tennessee at Chattanooga sophomore Jasmine Joyner (Southaven, Miss.) drained two free throws with 4.7 seconds on the clock to secure a narrow 49-45 victory over visiting Villanova in the season-opener for both teams at the Chattanooga Tip-Off Challenge.

“My heart was pounding the whole time,” Joyner said. “I couldn't even hear the crowd. the crowd was gone because that's how hard and fast my heart was beating. I was like I have to do this for my team. I have to make both of them.”

The free throws added to her first career double-double with 16 points and 20 rebounds. That ties for fifth most rebounds in a game and the first time a UTC has had that many since Feb. 6, 1988 when Regina Kirk (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) pulled down 20 against Furman.

With 4:38 to play, Joyner was fouled on a back door pass, making the layup and sinking the free throw to put the Mocs up 47-39. However, Villanova would cut that lead to 47-45 with a 6-0 run on a 3-pointer and a trio of free throws with 2:31 to play.

The two teams combined to go 0-6 over the final couple of minutes and a Villanova turnover with five seconds to play led to the foul that sent Joyner to the stripe.

After a bit of back-and-forth to start the game, Villanova put up six straight points to take its largest lead of the game, 13-8 at the 12:33 mark of the first half.

It wouldn't last long, however, as the Mocs went on a 17-2 run over the next 9:41 to move back out front 25-15 with 1:32 to go in the half. Chattanooga would not trail again and led 27-19 at the break.

After outscoring the Wildcats 9-3 to start the second half, Villanova put together a 13-3 run to cut the Mocs' lead to four points, 39-35 with 7:17 to play. They would make it a three point game twice more and get as close as two but the Mocs' survived the push.

Sophomore Moses Johnson (Atlanta, Ga.) was the only other Chattanooga player in double figures scoring a career-best 13 points and matched her career-high for rebounds with six.

UTC converted 18 turnovers into 19 points and outscored the Wildcats 28-16. Both teams got 16 points from the bench while the Mocs edged Villanova 11-9 on second chance points. Chattanooga won the rebound battle 44-37 and had 18 offensive boards compared to 11 for the Wildcats.

Chattanooga (1-0) shot 31.6 percent for the game and was 8-of-28 in the second half while making 2-of-13 from beyond the arc. From the charity stripe, UTC was 11-of-17 and had just six assists.

Villanova (0-1) shot 34 percent for the game, making 17-of-50 while hitting 6-of-16 from the 3-point line. The Wildcats made 5-of-9 from the free throw line while dishing out 12 assists and racking up seven blocked shots.

Chattanooga improves its nation's-best home court win streak to 40 consecutive games dating back to the home opener in 2011-12.

Villanova will take on South Florida Saturday at 4 p.m. on Day Two of the Tip-Off Challenge. Admission to the game and parking will be free to the public. The game will be aired on the SoCon Digital Network (SDN) with Larry Ward handing play-by-play.

The Mocs will take on South Florida Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Season tickets are on sale at the McKenzie Arena box office or online at GoMocs.com.

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