CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (GoMocs.com)--- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team used a 17-0 run in the second half to pull away from Morgan State and grabbed a 55-40 win on Day One of the Chattanooga Christmas Classic.
The Mocs improve to 8-3 overall and will host North Carolina A&T Sunday afternoon while Morgan State drops to 2-9 on the year and will take on Tennessee Tech in the early game.
Chattanooga led from start to finish but the Bears managed to cut the score to 34-30 on a layup from Simone Sampson with 14:40 to play. However, that would be all the points they could muster over the next 10 minutes as the Mocs put together a 17-0 scoring run to put the game away and secure its largest lead of the game, 51-30, with 4:47 to play. Morgan State went 0-for-15 in the stretch and turned the ball over four times.
Freshman Keiana Gilbert (Columbia, Tenn.) led all scorers with 19 points with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Sophomore Jasmine Joyner recorded her third double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. She added seven blocked shots, the most by a Chattanooga player in the McKenzie Arena and moved to second place on the Mocs' all-time charts with 101 for her career. She was 5-of-7 from the field and drained her first-ever 3-pointer.
The Mocs were just 8-of-23 from the field in the first half, but saw improvement in the second making 11-of-23 (47.8%) to shoot 41.3 percent for the game. From beyond the arc, Chattanooga made just four of its 20 attempts with three falling in the second half and were 13-of-20 from the charity stripe.
Morgan State was led in scoring by Braennan Farrar and Zuri White with seven points each marking the second straight game the Mocs have not allowed an opposing player to reach double figures. White had six rebounds and Danielle Robinson grabbed seven while Simone Sampson contributed six points off the bench.
The Bears shot just 25 percent for the game making 15-of-60 shots while sinking just one 3-pointer. UTC was outrebounded again with Morgan State gaining a 40-38 advantage on the glass including 18 on the offensive end.
The Mocs outscored Morgan State 30-22 in the paint and had 16 points off 16 turnovers while the Bears had just eight on 18 UTC miscues. MSU put had 12 second chance points compared to the Mocs nine and scored 17 bench points while UTC's Moses Johnson (Atlanta, Ga.) and Ansley Chilton (Trenton, Ga.) combined for nine.
Morgan State returned to scoring with a jumper from Sampson with 4:36 to play and outscore UTC 10-4 in the final minutes.
The first game Sunday will start at Noon followed by the Mocs vs. the Aggies at approximately 2 p.m.