CAMBRIDGE, Mass. --- With just 2.2 seconds left on the clock, the final shot for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga fell to freshman Keiana Gilbert (Columbia, Tenn.). She took the inbounds pass under the basket and curled into the lane and her shot dropped through just as time expired to give the Mocs a 54-52 win at Harvard Monday afternoon on Education Day.
Chattanooga improves to 12-3 and extend its win streak to eight games while the Crimson fall to 6-7 overall and drop its second straight game for the first time this season.
Gilbert led the Mocs with 18 points, 12 in the second half, making 9-of-12 for the game. Sophomore Jasmine Joyner (Southaven, Miss.) had 14 points and seven rebounds along with three assists and two blocked shots while sophomore Chelsey Shumpert (Paducah, Ky.) made four 3-pointers and had 14 points for UTC and four rebounds.
With 7:56 to play, Joyner connected on one-of-two free throws to give the Mocs their largest lead of the game 47-35. However, the Crimson would put together a 17-5 run over a 5:27 period behind 12 points from AnnMarie Healy to tie the game at 52-52 with 30 seconds to play.
The Mocs brought the ball down the court and took a timeout with 20.5 seconds on the clock to plan the final play. With seconds on the clock, Shumpert drove the lane but Healy blocked the shot out of bounds and the Mocs would have just two seconds to plan the last shot.
Chattanooga inbounded the ball under the basket to Gilbert who took the ball around the defense and put up the shot before the clock expired. It bounced around the rim and dropped through the rim as time expired. It was so close the officials held the end of the game to review the play.
The Mocs started the game with eight unanswered points before the Crimson cracked the nets on a layup from Healy nearly six-and-a-half minutes into the game. UTC pushed the lead out to 12-2 but Harvard bounced back again and cut the lead to 12-10.
Chattanooga closed out the half with a 14-7 advantage and started the second half outscoring the Crimson 5-2 to give UTC its largest lead of the game at 31-19.
Chattanooga led from start to finish and the game was only tied in the final minute. The Mocs edged Harvard 32-26 in the paint and had a 21-7 advantage on points off turnovers. The Crimson outscored UTC 15-9 on second chance points and won the rebound battle 36-27.
Chattanooga recorded 20 assists and had just nine turnovers while only committing seven fouls in the contest while forcing Harvard into 15 miscues.
Senior Ka'Vonne Towns (Lilburn, Ga.) and junior Alicia Payne (Memphis, Tenn.) combined for 16 of Chattanooga 20 assists and Towns snared five steals.
The Mocs will open Southern Conference action this weekend at Wofford with a 2 p.m. game Saturday afternoon followed by a road match at Furman Monday night.