Courtesy: Frank Mattia
Hall Enters 1000-Point Club; Leads UTC Past GSU

STATESBORO, Ga. --- University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Taylor Hall (New Tazewell, Tenn.) became the 26th member of the UTC women’s 1,000-Point Club Monday at Hanner Fieldhouse and led Chattanooga to a 72-60 win over Georgia Southern Monday night. UTC improves to 19-3 on the year and 11-0 in Southern Conference play while the Eagles fall to 7-15 overall and 5-6 in league action.

Hall scored a career-high 25 points against the Eagles while netting her 10th double-double of the year with 11 rebounds in 39 minutes. She was 11-of-12 from the free throw line, matching her career-high for charity tosses and added three assists and four steals.

The game started slow with neither team able to gather much offense. Over the first 6:10 of the game the two teams combined for 4-of-11 from the field and Georgia Southern’s Anna Claire Knight missed a pair of free throws while Chattanooga had five of the six turnovers in that time frame. With the score tied 5-5, Georgia Southern outscored UTC 9-4 over the next 3:52 to take its largest lead of the game, 14-9 with 9:58 to play in the first.

Chattanooga scored the next six points to take its first lead of the game, 15-14, with 8:41 to play in the opening stanza. The two teams would continue to battle it out with three more ties down the stretch and one lead change. Chattanooga would trail at the half for just the third time this year with GSU leading 30-28.

In the second half, Georgia Southern’s Briana Jones hit the first bucket to put the Eagles up 32-28, their largest lead of the half. From there Chattanooga would put together a 7-0 run started by a layup from Hall at the 18:54 mark. Freshman Aryanna Gilbert (Columbia, Tenn.) grabbed an offensive rebound less than a minute later and had a put back to tie the game before classmate Chelsey Shumpert (Paducah, Ky.) drained the first of her third 3-pointer to give UTC the lead for good with 16:42 to play.

Georgia Southern would twice get the score back to within a point but UTC freshman Whitney Hartlage (Louisville, Ky.) was fouled as she drove to the basket. Her two free throws sparked a 16-0 run capped off by Shumpert’s second and third 3-pointers, giving UTC its largest lead of the game at 55-38 with 8:12 to play.

Georgia Southern outscored UTC 8-3 over the next 4:00 to make it 58-46 in Chattanooga’s favor with 4:12 to play. One minute later Hall missed her chance at 1,000 points but teammate Ka’Vonne Towns (Lilburn, Ga.) grabbed the rebound to keep the possession alive. She missed a 3-point chance, but Hall returned the favor by grabbing the board. She missed a layup attempt and snared the rebound again and this time found the rim sinking the shot and drawing the foul for her 1,001st career point.

The Mocs final 12 points would all be free throws beginning with Hall’s “and 1”. She would hit seven of her eight attempts in the final minutes and tie her career-best for made free throws with 11 while UTC combined for 11-of-14 free throws in the last 3:12 of the game.

Chattanooga’s bench outscored Georgia Southern 21-8 and the two went point-for-point in the paint with 26 each. UTC scored 25 points off 18 Eagle turnovers compared to GSU’s 11 points off 13 Chattanooga miscues. The Mocs outrebounded the Eagles 39-28 and scored 14 points off 13 offensive boards.

Shumpert had 13 points for UTC, all in the second half, and was 3-of-4 from the 3-point line. Towns had eight points for UTC with two steals while senior Ashlen Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C.) contributed six points and five rebounds. Chattanooga was 24-of-59 (40.7%) from the field and 6-of-20 (30%) from the 3-point line while draining 90 percent (18-of-20) of its free throws.

In the first half, Georgia Southern made several trips to the free throw line making 12-of-15 but was just 5-of-6 in the second half. The Eagles were 5-of-12 from the 3-point line while making 19-of-48 from the field.

Knight led three Georgia Southern players in double figures with 19 points. Briana Jones and MiMi DuBose each added 13 points for GSU while Jones and Sierra Kirkland each grabbed a team-high six points.

Chattanooga returns home Saturday to host Appalachian State at Maclellan Gym in a “Throw Back” game. The event is set to tip off at 2 p.m. All former Lady Mocs are asked to contact the Mocs Club at 423.425.4773 to RSVP.

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