Gilberts Lead Mocs to Win Over Catamounts - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Gilberts Lead Mocs to Win Over Catamounts

Posted: Updated:

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (GoMocs.com)--- University of Tennessee at Chattanooga seniors Aryanna and Keiana Gilbert combined for 18 of the Mocs’ final 22 points to lead UTC to a 47-32 Southern Conference win over Western Carolina Saturday afternoon at the McKenzie Arena. Chattanooga improved to 11-5 overall and 2-0 in SoCon play while the Catamounts fall to 3-13 on the year and 0-2 against the league.

The sisters traded layups to start the 22-4 run over the final 11:43 of the game. Keiana Gilbert had 12 of her game-high 16 points in the stretch. She was 6-of-7 from the free throw line for the game, had seven rebounds and two steals while playing every minute for the ninth straight game.

Aryanna Gilbert was perfect from the charity stripe, making all three attempts, for 11 points. She had seven boards and two assists. Sophomore Lakelyn Bouldin had seven points for the Mocs and matched her career-high with eight rebounds. Arianne Whitaker added five points for UTC, with seven rebounds and a season-high four blocked shots.

“Generally speaking, your best offensive players lead you in shooting,” Chattanooga head coach Jim Foster said. “They take more shots than the other players. It’s the other players understanding where their opportunities are and taking advantage of them.”

With 6:04 to play in the third quarter, Emily Hatfield hit a jumper to give Western Carolina a 26-20 lead, its largest of the game. Bouldin responded with her only 3-pointer on the day followed by a jumper from junior Shelbie Davenport. That put the Mocs to within a point at 26-25.

The Cats’ JonTay Mitchem’s layup at 3:17 in the third stretched the lead back to three points, 28-25, but that would be the last time Western Carolina would score until Hatifield’s free throw with 3:59 to play.

Aryanna Gilbert had a put back layup to cut the Cats’ lead to 28-27 with 1:43 to play in the third quarter. Western Carolina was unable to connect on their end and Keiana Gilbert’s layup with 14 seconds in the frame gave UTC the lead for good at 29-28.

The fourth quarter belonged to Chattanooga. The Mocs outscored the Catamounts 18-4, shooting 42.9 percent (6-of-14) in the period.

Davenport had four rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Mocs. Chattanooga, with a season-high eight blocked shots, shot just 28.6 percent for the game. Forty-seven points is the fewest points scored by the Mocs in a win since beating Furman 47-40 Jan. 12, 2015. Chattanooga was 2-of-21 from beyond the arc and 13-of-17 from the free throw line.

“We’ll figure out [our identity over the course of the year,” Foster said. “Our identity will be what we do throughout the season and not on a daily basis. You win games in a variety of ways in the game of basketball.

“We weren’t making shots today, but the good news was that we were taking them and not being tentative. Our energy in the fourth quarter, defensively, allowed us to get in the open floor.”

Hatfield led Western Carolina with a double-double off the bench. She had 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. She was 6-of-12 from the field and made her only 3-point attempt. Julia Brown added nine points with four rebounds and two assists. The Catamounts were 14-of-52 (26.9%) from the field, 1-of-14 in the fourth quarter.

UTC outdueled the Cats on the boards 43-35, a season-high for the Mocs. In the paint, UTC outscored WCU 24-14, scored 15 points off 15 Catamount miscues and had 12 second chance points compared to Western’s seven.

Jim Foster now had 897 career wins. He ranks eight all-time among NCAA coaches at all three divisions and seventh among Division I coaches.

The Mocs return to action next week beginning a three-game road stretch at East Tennessee State. The game is set to tip off at 7:00 p.m. Friday night at Brooks Gym on the ETSU campus. Follow the action online at GoMocs.com.

Powered by Frankly