Cameron Wood, Staff Writer —
The Mocs women’s basketball season came to a climactic end on Thursday as they lost a tough game in the Southern Conference tournament to UNC- Greensboro, 70-66.
It took two overtimes to take the Mocs down, despite UTC missing their two leadings scorers, Keianna Gilbert, Pulaski, Tennessee, and Lakelyn Bouldin, Spencer, Tennessee. The Mocs wore a patch in honor of Bouldin’s father, who tragically passed away in a car crash last Monday. Gilbert missed the game due to an ankle injury sustained during the final week of the regular season.
The game was a tight affair from start to finish, with the largest lead being 11 points by UNCG midway through the third quarter. Shortly after, the Mocs soared on a 17-0 run to close out the third and open the fourth taking a six-point lead of their own.
Offensively the Mocs had a big gap in their scoring because of the absence of their two leading scorers. This gap was filled massively by freshman Brooke Burns, Gadsden, Alabama.
Burns finished the game with 36 points on 13-23 shooting and 5-11 from beyond the arc. Burns even had a chance to win the game in the first overtime, sinking a clutch layup and drawing a foul, but she missed the free throw to seal the game.
Burns, along with redshirt-senior Aryanna Gilbert, Pulaski, Tennessee, played all 50 minutes of the game. Burns also scored all thirteen points for the Mocs in the two overtime periods.
Burns credited her scoring to her teammates.
“I was comfortable from the start tonight,” said Burns. “My teammates helped me get adjusted once I got in.”
The rest of the scoring was distributed well throughout the team, as no other Moc hitting double figures in scoring.
UNCG was paced offensively by the duo of Mangela Ngandjui and Alexus Willey, who had 18 and 16 points respectively.
After the game, UTC Head Coach Jim Foster spoke about the quick adjustments that the Mocs had to make.
“I thought we handled the situation very well,” said Foster. “They had excuses if they wanted to quit and they didn’t. I like that a lot about them. I think they learned a lot about themselves in the last 10 days.”
The loss means the Mocs finishes their season with a record of 17-12 (8-6 in conference play) and earning third place in the SoCon regular season standings.