By Calvin Smith, Staff Writer
The UTC women’s basketball team held on to beat the UNCG Spartans 58-55. UTC improves to 11-8 on the season and 5-0 in SoCon play. This is the Lady Mocs’ 46th consecutive home SoCon win.
Junior Chelsey Shumpert, Paducah, Ky., led the way, scoring 13 points with four assists and three steals while shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc.
Senior Queen Alford, Decatur, Ga., chipped in 11 points, while senior Jasmine Joyner, Southaven, Miss., and junior Keiana Gilbert, Pulaski, Tenn., each contributed 10 points. Joyner never left the court, playing all 40 minutes of the game.
Joyner continued to display her elite shot blocking skills, she added 5 blocks to her nation leading 77. Joyner now has 82 blocks on the season.
The Mocs blew out UNCG in the first half, after two quarters the Mocs led by 11 points. UTC forced 11 turnovers and recorded seven steals from a stagnant UNCG offense. UNCG turnovers were pivotal to the Mocs’ early success, UTC had 17 points off of turnovers in the first half alone.
UTC’s stout first half defense held UNCG to a mere 29 percent shooting percentage from the field, while the Mocs shot 54 percent.
The second half is a completely different story for both teams. UNCG made key halftime adjustments and sliced up UTC’s zone defense which only produced two turnovers the whole second half. UNCG ended the third quarter on a 10 point run.
Coach Foster had strong words for his team’s defensive play in the second half, “I think we had an area of our zone play very poorly. It didn’t have to do with an adjustment, it had to do with people ball watching. Coming across people weren’t prepared for their responsibility then when their person got the ball they were always surprised. We had two seniors do that, its just brain lock.”
UTC went cold on offense in the second half as well, shooting just 38 percent in the half. Beyond the three point line seemed to be the only spot UTC could make a shot from in the second half, the Mocs shot 53 percent from three point land in the second half.
The Mocs committed 14 turnovers in the game, UTC’s offense made numerous mistakes all game which allowed UNCG to almost complete an 11 point comeback.
Joyner didn’t have her best offensive performance of the season, Joyner was 3-11 from the field. However, she still had the ball in her hands in the final seconds of a one possession game. With the clock ticking down Joyner nails a dribble pull up to ice the game for UTC.
The Lady Mocs are riding a 6 game win streak before going away to play Wofford and Furman next week to continue SoCon play.
You can contact Calvin Smith via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @calvin_smith33