WILMINGTON, N.C. (gomocs.com) – University of Tennessee at Chattanooga junior Jasmine Joyner (Southaven, Miss.) and sophomore Keiana Gilbert (Pulaski, Tenn.) combined for 31 points in the Mocs 61-33 win over UNCW. The Mocs claimed the Seahawks Christmas Classic and improved to 8-4 on the year. UNCW falls to 3-6 overall.
Joyner led all scorers with 16 points. She pulled down nine rebounds and added four blocked shots to her nation-leading total. Gilbert was 7-of-11 from the floor for 15 points with two rebounds and two steals. For the fourth straight game, junior Moses Johnson (Atlanta, Ga.) pulled down double-figure rebounds with a game-best 14. Senior Alicia Payne (Memphis, Tenn.) dished out a season-high six assists with six points and three rebounds.
After trading shots for the first 5:46, freshman Nakeia Burks (Huntsville, Ala.) connected on a pair of free throws to give Chattanooga an 8-7 lead and the Mocs would never trail the rest of the way. UTC led 10-9 after one quarter and spread its lead out to 24-19 at intermission.
The third quarter would prove to be the difference in the game with the Mocs outscoring UNCW 19-2 in the frame. The Mocs scored the first 11 points in the period and it would be the 2:15 mark before Shatia Cole hit a layup to put the Seahawks on the board in the quarter.
The Mocs then put together a 13-0 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters to get out front 48-21 with 9:28 to play in the fourth quarter. Chattanooga's lead grew to as much as 31 points twice before the final horn sounded.
Chattanooga outscored UNCW 30-26 in the paint and had 49 rebounds compared to the Seahawks 45. The Mocs are 7-0 when getting the same number of rebounds or more. UTC was 11-of-19 from the free throw line while UNCW did not make any of its four attempts.
Amber Reeves led the Seahawks with eight points while Rebekah Banks had 14 rebounds and Jordan Henry pulled in 12.
The Mocs will have a few days off for the holidays before heading west to take on Stanford on December 28 at Maples Pavilion. The game is set to tip off at 10 p.m. Eastern time.