CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (GoMocs.com)--- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team will host UNCG Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader with the men's team. Following the game, fans can gather on the concourse to meet the No. 21 team in the country. The game is set to tip off at 3 p.m. at the Roundhouse and will be following by the men's game vs. Samford at 6 p.m. Both games will be carried live on 96.1 FM The Legend, the flagship station of Mocs athletics. Follow all the action at GoMocs.com.
The Mocs reached their highest ranking of the season on Monday this week at No. 21 in the AP Top 25 while receiving 28 points in the USA Today Coaches Poll. That is the most points UTC has received this season in the Coaches poll and puts it just three spots out of the Top 25. In the College Insider Mid-Major Top 26, Chattanooga moved up one spot to third with one first place vote. Graham Hays with ESPN has UTC ranked third in his Top 10.
Chattanooga is all alone in first in the Southern Conference with a 9-0 mark and are 21-3 overall. UTC is on a 17-game win streak and has won 43 consecutive Southern Conference games. Chattanooga is sixth in the league in scoring with just 62.6 points per game but are fourth in the nation for scoring defense allowing opponents just 51 points per game. The Mocs have held 13 opponents to fewer than 50 points and allowed Samford just 32 points in late January.
UTC is second in the league in field goal percentage and first in field goal percentage defense, allowing opponents to make just 37.6 percent of their attempts. The Mocs also lead the league in blocked shots (6.0), assists (14.0), turnover margin (+3.79) and 3-point field goals per game (6.5). Chattanooga is second to UNCG in steals with 9.4 per game and second in assist-turnover ratio behind Mercer.
Chelsey Shumpert is one of three Chattanooga players averaging double figures with 11.8 points per game. Freshman Keiana Gilbert has shared time at the top of UTC's scoring charts and is second with 11.3 points per game and has a team-high 56.3 shooting percentage. Sophomore Jasmine Joyner leads the Southern Conference in blocked shots with 4.04 per game and is ranked sixth in the nation.
Senior Ka'Vonne Towns leads Chattanooga in 3-point shooting accuracy making 39 percent of her attempts and has 48 on the year. Shumpert has a team-best 53 treys and is seventh in the league standings for percent made. Junior Alicia Payne has a SoCon-best 2.6 assist-turnover ratio and currently ranks 16th in the country.
The Spartans are 0-9 in SoCon play this season with a 5-19 overall mark. UNCG is on a 12-game losing skid and its last win was an overtime victory against Livingstone at home. The Spartans rank fourth in the SoCon for scoring offense with 63.8 points per game, but are outscored by nearly 10 points per game. From the field, UNCG is shooting 35.7 percent and make 27.4 percent of its tries from beyond the arc. On the boards, the Spartans are pulling down 38 per game, outrebounded by 3.1 rebounds per game. UNCG leads the SoCon in steals with 11.5 per game.
Lucy Mason leads the team with 14.5 points per game with 23 from beyond the arc. Jarae Savage is the only other player averaging double figures with 11.9 points per game and has a team-best 6.6 rebounds per game. Savage leads the team with 54 steals with Mason's 52 not far behind.
CHATTANOOGA VS. UNCG
This will be the 42nd meeting between the Mocs and the Spartans. Chattanooga is 35-6 against UNCG dating back to 1998 when the Spartans joined the Southern Conference. UTC has won the last 18 matchups and 33 of the last 34 including an 81-46 defeat in Greensboro earlier this year. The Mocs shot 65 percent from the field and were 75 percent from beyond the arc making a season-high 12 treys in the win.