ASHEVILLE, N.C. (GoMocs.com) --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga blew past UNCG 78-44 in the opening game of the Southern Conference Tournament and advance to take on fifth-seeded Furman Friday morning at the U.S. Cellular Center in the semifinals.
Chattanooga shot 57.4 percent for the game, 61.3 percent in the second half, to win its 23rd consecutive game and seventh straight SoCon Tournament game. Sophomore Jasmine Joyner (Southaven, Miss.) led the Mocs with a career-high 22 points and 10 rebounds. She had four blocked shots to improve her SoCon-record to 122. She was one of three Chattanooga players in double figures.
Sophomore Chelsey Shumpert (Paducah, Ky.) had 13 points and senior Destiny Bramblett (Radcliff, Ky.) added 10 as all 10 of the Mocs' players scored in the contest. Sophomore Moses Johnson (Atlanta, Ga.) had a career-best nine rebounds while junior Alicia Payne (Memphis, Tenn.) had eight points, all in the first half and four assists. Senior Ka'Vonne Towns (Lilburn, Ga.) had seven points, four rebounds and four steals in the game and freshman Keiana Gilbert (Columbia, Tenn.) added six points and seven boards.
Furman defeated fourth-seeded Samford 65-54 in Game Two to advance to the semifinals. Whitney Bunn drained a game-high 24 points making 7-of-9 from beyond the arc with four assists. Holli Wilkins was the only other Furman player in double figures with 14 points and Allison Beasley had a team-high eight rebounds.
The Paladins shot 57.5 percent (66.7% in 1st half) and held Samford to a 36.7 percent performance. Furman outrebounded the Bulldogs 33-23 and led for more than 26 minutes. Samford got out to a 13-7 lead, its largest of the game, with just 5:57 gone in the contest. Furman rallied, outscoring Samford 12-5 over the next 5:27 and built an 11-point halftime lead.
Chattanooga overcame a 12-point deficit against the Paladins in Greenville, S.C., to win 47-40. At home, the Mocs blew past Furman 67-45 and trailed only after the Paladins scored the first basket.
The game will be aired live on ESPN3 with Darren Goldwater and Robin Muller. Listen live on the Chattanooga flagship station 96.1 FM The Legend. Live scoring, streaming audio and video are available at GoMocs.com. Download the iHeart radio app and don't miss a single minute on your smart phone or device.
The game is set to tip off at 11:00 a.m. as part of the Southern Conference Education Day. This will be UTC's third Education Day game this season.