No. 2 ETSU 78, No. 7 Wofford 64
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – No. 2 seed ETSU used a dominating second quarter to topple No. 7 Wofford 78-64 in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference Women's Basketball Championship presented by General Shale on Thursday at the U.S. Cellular Center. Tianna Tarter scored 17 of her game-high 24 points in the pivotal first half.
The Bucs led by two, 21-19, after 10 minutes before a 30-11 spurt in the second 10. Back-to-back baskets by Emily Ryan got the Terriers within four, 28-24. Tarter took over from there.
She hit a 3-pointer to start a 23-6 run to the break. Tarter ended the spurt with a 3, as well, sending the Bucs into halftime ahead 51-30. The lead swelled to a game-high 23 points, 53-30, on two Britney Snowden free throws in the third quarter.
The Terriers fought the good fight. Ryan's triple with 3:23 left made it a 14-point affair, 73-59, but they'd get no closer. Cairo Booker just missed a triple-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Da'Ja Green added 15 points and six boards.
SoCon Freshman of the Year Erica Haynes-Overton chipped in 19 points and eight rebounds for the Bucs. Sadasia Tipps and Snowden also reached double digits with 11 and 11, respectively.
ON THE RECORD
The Bucs scored 45 of their 78 points via turnovers and offensive rebounds. They held a 23-2 advantage in points off turnovers, while recording 22-4 margin on second-chance points.
The Terriers outscored ETSU 53-48 combining quarters one, three and four. Booker tallied new career highs for rebounds (11) and assists (8).
3 stats to know...
- ETSU was +9 in turnover margin, forcing 17 Wofford turnovers while making a season-low eight miscues of its own. The Terriers had 60 turnovers (20.0/game) in their three meetings with the Bucs.
- The Bucs scored 18 fastbreak points.
- ETSU dominated the game in the paint with a 34-14 advantage, forcing the Terriers to the perimeter.
No. 6 UNCG 70, No. 3 Chattanooga 66 (2OT)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The old adage “save the best for last” was quite appropriate in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference Women's Basketball Tournament presented by General Shale. Sixth-seeded UNCG escaped U.S. Cellular Center with a 70-66 double-overtime win over No. 3 Chattanooga in Thursday's final game.
Mangela Ngandjui (18) and Alexus Willey (16) combined for 34 points off the bench to lead the Spartans. Ije Ajemba added 13 points and 15 rebounds. Brooke Burns led the Mocs with 36, a school record in the SoCon tournament.
Burns' last-second layup in regulation sent the game into overtime. There, the Spartans scored the first five points for a 58-53 advantage. Burns scored the next five points to knot the score at 58-all as the Mocs forced turnovers on three straight possessions, sending it into the final minute.
Nadine Soliman's long-range effort was off the mark, but Ngandjui was in position, grabbing the board, and her putback made it 60-58. A missed 3-pointer for UTC was followed by a shot-clock violation on the Spartans' end. Burns came up big again with a late layup, but a free-throw miss on the and-one attempt set up a second extra period.
Nagandju triple answered by Burns' kept the game tied 63-63. Burns got another, so Ngandjui matched her for a 66-66 tally with 1:17 to go. The final minute went to UNCG. Brandi Fier's jumper with 29 seconds left could not be answered by the Mocs as a contested miss in the paint and subsequent foul allowed Soliman to ice the game with two free throws.
Ngandjui score 10 of her 18 in the extra frames to key the win.
ON THE RECORD
The Mocs played without first-team All-SoCon selection Keiana Gilbert (injury) and third-team pick Lakelyn Bouldin (family emergency). The duo accounted for 43.6 percent of the team's scoring this season.
It is the second straight trip to the semifinals for the Spartans, who avenged last year's 75-53 tourney loss to the Mocs. That Spartans are now 2-7 in the tournament vs. UTC with the previous win coming in 2000 runner-up finish.
3 stats to know ...
- Career-high 36 points for Brooke Burns ... she averaged 23.0 points per game in the three since Keiana Gilbert's injury.
- Ije Ajemba posted her second double-double against the Mocs this season, 17th overall. It was her eighth contest with 15 or more boards.
- The last overtime game in the SoCon Championship was Chattanooga's 61-56 win over ETSU in the 2015 title game. The last one in the quarterfinals was 2003's 82-71 Georgia Southern victory over Appalachian State. Thursday's was just the third multi-OT game in tournament history, joining Marshall's 83-81 2OT semifinal win in 1987 and Western Carolina's 3OT 101-87 triumph in the 2009 title game over College of Charleston.