Chattanooga improved to 27-3 on the year while Georgia Southern, with a first-round win over Wofford, falls to 10-21 overall.
Leading 9-6 with 15:58 to play in the first half, Chattanooga began to pull away from the Eagles. Hall drained the second of two free throws to start a 13-0 run that lasted 5:11 in the opening frame. Senior Meghan Downes drained a short jumper to give UTC a 22-6 lead with 10:19 on the clock.
Neither team was able to hit the rim over the next five-and-half minutes. However, in the final 4:43 of the first half, Georgia Southern held a 12-7 scoring advantage, including the final six points of the half, to cut UTC’s lead nearly in half. Chattanooga carried a 29-18 lead into halftime.
In the second half, UTC stretched its lead out 15 points on a 3-pointer from freshman Chelsey Shumpert with 14:05 to play. The Eagles cut into that lead with a 15-6 scoring run over the next 4:39 to make it a six-point game, 50-44, with 9:14 remaining.
The Lady Mocs, however, stretched the lead back to double-figures scoring the next seven points. Sophomore Tatianna Jackson drained her third 3-pointer of the year, banking it off from the right side with the shot clock running out to make it 53-44 with 8:39 to play. Freshman Jasmine Joyner hit back to back jumpers in the lane to give UTC a 13-point lead, 57-44, with 5:09 to play.
Hall just missed a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. She added four assists and three blocked shots in 30 minutes. Gilbert tossed in 10 points and recorded five rebounds. Joyner increased her freshman single-season shot block record to 46 and is tied for sixth all-time at UTC in that category.
All 11 Chattanooga players who saw playing time, found the bucket. Senior Ashlen Dewart added eight points while classmate Faith Dupree dropped in seven. The Lady Mocs shot 43.3 percent (26-60) from the field and was 4-of-17 (23.5 percent) from beyond the arc.
Georgia Southern’s Anna Claire Knight led all scorers with 20 points and had a team-high seven rebounds. Sierra Kirkland came off the bench for the Eagles and added 13 points and five rebounds.
Chattanooga dished out 17 assists and had just nine turnovers resulting in seven points for GSU while UTC converted 12 Eagle miscues into 11 points. The Lady Mocs outdueled Georgia Southern 38-30 on the boards with a 12-5 advantage on offensive rebounds for 10 points. Chattanooga’s bench outscored GSU 24-15.
Eagles 62, Mocs 55
ASHVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Trey Bussey scored 17 points and seventh-seeded Georgia Southern pulled away down the stretch to upset second-seeded Chattanooga 62-55 in the Southern Conference quarterfinals on Saturday.
Brian Holmes made seven-straight free throws in the in the final 35 seconds to seal the upset for the Eagles (15-18), who also won the only regular-season meeting by 16 on the road. Holmes finished with 10 points, all from the foul line, and Jelani Hewitt had 12.
Z. Mason let the Mocs (18-14) with 21 points and Casey Jones had 12.
Georgia Southern, which trailed 27-24 at the half, put together an 8-0 surge, the first six from Marvin Baynham, to lead 51-46 with 2:56 to play. After a Chattanooga free throw, Bussey knocked down jumpers on consecutive possessions for a 55-47 lead with 55 seconds left. Mason had five quick points but Holmes always responded from the foul line.