CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (GoMocs.com)--- For the third straight game and fourth of the last five, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team held its opponent to less than 50 points and claimed the Christmas Classic title with a 58-43 win over North Carolina A&T in the tournament finale.
The Mocs, with their fifth straight win, are now 9-3 on the year and will head to San Antonio for the UTSA Holiday Classic later this week. The Aggies close the tournament at 1-1 and are 7-5 overall.
Sophomore Jasmine Joyner (Southaven, Miss.) recorded her fourth double-double of the year with 10 points and 12 rebounds and added five blocked shots. Senior Ka'Vonne Towns (Lilburn, Ga.) had a team-high 14 points in the win and added a pair of steals.
After getting behind 6-0 to start the game, the Mocs then scored 13 unanswered points bookended by a pair of 3-pointers from Towns. Chattanooga would go on to outscore NC A&T 19-11 and carry a 32-17 lead into halftime.
The second half saw the Mocs gain their largest lead, 44-21 with 14:37 to play, on a fastbreak layup from Joyner. Chattanooga's last field goal for the day, however, would come on a 3-pointer from redshirt freshman Ansley Chilton (Trenton, Tenn.) with 6:16 to play. Junior Alicia Payne (Memphis, Tenn.) scored three of her four free throws in that span.
The teams played even in the second half with each scoring 26 points and were nearly matched up in the paint with the Aggies gaining a slight 28-26 advantage. Both team scored 17 points off turnovers with the Mocs fumbling the ball 16 times to the Aggies 15.
The Mocs shot better than 50 percent for the third time this season making 20-of-38 (52.6%) from the field. UTC was 6-of-16 for the game from beyond the arc, making 5-of-10 in the first half. Chattanooga won the rebounding battle for the first time in five games, outdueling NC A&T 31-28 on the boards.
The Aggies were held to 34.6 percent from the floor (18-of-52) marking the third straight UTC opponent to be held to under 35 percent from the field.
Sophomore Chelsey Shumpert (Paducah, Ky.) was 4-of-4 from the free throw line and had nine points for the Mocs along with three assists while Payne chipped in eight points. Freshman Keiana Gilbert (Columbia, Tenn.) added seven points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals on the day.
The Mocs will take a few days off for the holiday before departing for San Antonio later this week for the UTSA Holiday Classic. The Mocs will face SIU Edwardsville on Sunday and South Dakota Monday. Both games will tip at 1 p.m. Eastern time. Larry Ward will have the call LIVE on the Mocs' flagship station 96.1 FM The Legend.