Lady Mocs survive scare from Samford in semi-finals - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Lady Mocs survive scare from Samford in semi-finals

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga held on to grab a 49-41 win over Samford Friday afternoon at the U.S. Cellular Center in the semifinal round of the Southern Conference Tournament. The Mocs improve to 23-7 on the year and the Bulldogs fall to 20-11 overall.

Chattanooga junior Jasmine Joyner (Southaven, Miss.) recorded her 10th double-double of the year with 17 points, 13 rebounds and added eight blocks for 125 on the year. She was joined in double figures by junior Queen Alford (Decatur, Ga.) with 14 points and three boards.

In the third quarter, the Mocs saw its double digit lead drain away as Samford, behind the shooting of Kassidy Blevins, went on a 15-2 run over a 6:27 period to lead for the first time since the first quarter.

Chattanooga was up by as much as 12 points in the frame when Amara Mayers hit back-to-back 3-pointers. Blevins followed that with a five points to cut the Mocs’ 35-34. Joyner hit a layup to push it back up to three with 1:59 to play in the quarter. Blevins would step up her game, however, and get the next four points for the Bulldogs to take a 38-31 lead into the fourth quarter. Samford outscored UTC 20-8 in the frame.

It would be all Chattanooga in the fourth quarter. The Mocs retook the lead on a missed jumper and quick transition to the other end with a layup from Alford to make it a 39-38 game in UTC’s favor at the 7:25 mark.

After a missed 3-pointer by the Bulldogs, Joyner grabbed the rebound and was fouled on the ensuing shot attempt. Her two free throws were true and the lead stretched to 41-38 with 6:37 on the clock. Chattanooga pushed another missed Samford shot into a fastbreak with sophomore Keiana Gilbert (Pulaski, Tenn.) running the floor for the jumper stretching the Mocs lead to five points with 6:06 to play.

Samford cut it to two points on a Taylor Reece long range shot but the Bulldogs would not score again. In the final 2:09, Chattanooga scored the final six points of the game for the final score and advance to its 17th Southern Conference Tournament final.

The Mocs dominated the paint 26-8 and had 10 points off 14 Samford miscues. The Bulldogs converted UTC’s 11 turnovers into 13 points and outscored UTC 9-8 on second chance points while their bench poured in 18 points to UTC’s one.

Senior Alicia Payne (Memphis, Tenn.) had eight points, four steals and four assists while Gilbert had seven points, 10 rebounds and two steals.

Blevins led the Bulldogs with 18 points and four rebounds. Mayers, who was injured early on, had 11 points, three rebounds and two assists while Reece added eight points and three rebounds. Destiney Elliott had a team-best five rebounds to go along with two steals and three assists.

Chattanooga will take on top-seeded Mercer Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN3. Larry Ward will have the call on 96.1 FM The Legend.

Channel 3 sports director Paul Shahen will have live updates on Eyewitness News as the Lady Mocs continue to advance. 

Stay with WRCB Sports on-air and online for continuing coverage of the SoCon tournament.

The Lady Mocs took Samford today in Asheville, NC.  

In the first half the Lady Mocs and Samford kept the score even until the second quarter when the Lady Mocs took the lead going into the half at 29-18. 

During the third quarter, nothing was happening for the Lady Mocs until 7 minutes left in the 4th quarter when Queen Alford made a layup and bringing the Lady Mocs up by 1. 

A foul shot by Joyner took the Lady Mocs up another 3 leading Samford 41-38.

It was back and forth until the last minute and the Lady Mocs are back in the SoCon Title game after 49-41 win over Samford.

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