Chattanooga 75, Georgia Southern 43

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- After a month on the road, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s basketball team returned to McKenzie Arena and a crowd of 2,183 fans, to put together a decisive 75-43 Southern Conference win against Georgia Southern Saturday night.

Junior forwards Taylor Hall and Ashlen Dewart combined for 30 points while senior Kylie Lambert pulled down a season-high-tying 10 rebounds in the win. Chattanooga improves to 11-3 overall and 4-1 in SoCon play while the Eagles fall to 2-13 on the year and 1-5 in league action.

Chattanooga used a 27-3 second half run to pull away. The Eagles, on a 3-pointer from MiMi DuBose, got to its closest of the second half at 41-33 with 14:41 to play. Sophomore Ka’Vonne Towns hit one of two free throws to kick off the run that saw scoring from six different Chattanooga players. Hall scored 10 of her game-high 16 points in the run while junior Destiny Bramblett scored seven of her season-high tying eight points.

Chattanooga led 35-23 at halftime and outscored Georgia Southern 40-20 in the second period. The Lady Mocs were 28-of-60 (46.7%) from the field and 5-of-18 from the 3-point line with senior Kayla Christopher draining two in the opening stanza.

The Eagles shot 32.7% (16-of-49) for the game and made 7-of-18 from beyond the arc led by DuBose’s 3-of-5 effort from the arc.

Chattanooga started the game with a 12-3 run and led by as much as 18 points in the opening period. Dewart led the Lady Mocs in the first half with 12 points in 11 minutes but sat the bench most of the second with foul trouble. Christopher scored all eight of her points in the first half and was 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.

Christopher hit a 3-pointer with 7:36 to play in the first half to spark a 9-2 Chattanooga run capped off by four points from Dewart to put the Lady Mocs up 33-15 with 3:25 to play in the half before the Eagles cut it to 12 points at the break.

Georgia Southern started the second half outscoring UTC 7-4 to make it a nine-point game, 39-30, and got to within eight points, 41-33, before Chattanooga put together a rally-squashing 27-3 run to take complete control of the game.

Chattanooga forced 17 second half turnovers, 24 for the game, and outscored the Eagles 22-3 on turnovers in the latter stanza. Chattanooga’s bench contributed 29 points to GSU’s seven and was led by Bramblett and junior Meghan Downes with eight apiece.

The Lady Mocs dominated in the paint 32-14 and had 18 second chance points off 17 offensive rebounds. Chattanooga outrebounded the Eagles 45-31 and led wire-to-wire and dished out 19 assists, one shy of its season-best 20 at UNCG on Jan. 5 on the road.

Hall had a game-high 16 points making 7-of-12 from the field and pulled down seven rebounds with two assists and two steals. Dewart had 14 points for UTC, her 12th in double figures, in just 15 minutes of play. Christopher had eight points, three rebounds and three assists while Lambert grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with eight points and two assists. Towns had six points, four rebounds, three assists and a career-high two blocked shots with a steal. Freshman Alicia Payne dished out a game-high tying four assists and classmate Tatianna Jackson had four points, four rebounds, an assist, a steal and a blocked shot.

Georgia Southern was led by DuBose’s 13 points and four assists. Meredyth Frye had eight points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals and a pair of blocked shots. Aishya Wofford pulled down a team-high seven rebounds and Sierra Kirkland had five boards.

Samford 56, College of Charleston 47

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Samford sophomore Taylor Reece scored 19 points, and senior Hannah Dawson grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds to lead the Bulldog women’s basketball team to a 56-47 win over College of Charleston Saturday afternoon in the Pete Hanna Center.

With the win, Samford improves to 7-7 overall and 4-1 in Southern Conference play, while College of Charleston drops to 7-7 overall and 3-2 in league play. The game marked the Bulldogs’ first home game in over a month, and their second-straight win after dropping five in a row during a six-game road swing.

Reece made 7-of-10 shots overall and 5-of-6 from three-point range. The 19 points were a season high and just two points away from a career high.

Dawson’s 15 rebounds were four more than her previous career high, and just three away from a school record. To go along with the 15 rebounds, Dawson also tied a career high with six assists in the win.

Behind Reece in scoring for Samford, senior Jazmine Martin and junior Kendall Schwantz scored 14 points apiece. Martin has now scored in double figures in six-straight games. Freshman Krista Stricklin added five points and seven rebounds for the Bulldogs.

For College of Charleston, Cathryn Hardy led the way with 13 points. Afreyea Tolbert scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Cougars.

Samford started the game off strong, racing out to a 13-0 lead with 15:24 to play in the first half after a three-pointer by Reece. College of Charleston scored 10 of the next 14 points to cut the lead to seven points and 17-10 with 12:15 to go after a basket by Tolbert.

The teams traded baskets over the next several minutes. With Samford leading, 21-12, Charleston closed the half with an 8-3 run to cut the lead to four points at 24-20 heading into halftime.

College of Charleston cut the Samford lead to just one point at 26-25 with 18:46 to go in the game after a three-point play by Latisha Harris. Samford, however, answered with a 13-2 run to push its lead to 12 points at 39-27 with 14:08 to go after a three-pointer by Reece.

The Cougars cut the Samford lead to eight points at 39-31, and again at 41-33, but Samford then went on a 10-2 run to push its lead to 16 points at 51-35 with 4:28 left following a  three-pointer by Stricklin. With Samford leading, 55-40, Charleston scored seven of the final eight points of the contest to make the final score 56-47.

As a team, Samford shot 40.8 percent from the floor, including a 52.4-percent effort in the second half. The Bulldogs made 47.4 percent of their three-pointers, including 50 percent in the second half. Charleston made just 27.1 percent of its shots overall and just 13.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Furman 67, UNCG 48

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Teshia Griswold scored 13 points and Patrice Butler tallied 12 to key Furman to a 67-48 victory over visiting UNCG in women’s Southern Conference basketball action Saturday afternoon at Timmons Arena.

Griswold’s 13-point effort, a product of 5-for-10 shooting and conversions on both free throw attempts, highlighted a season best 46.7 percent shooting effort (28-for-60) by Furman (6-8, 2-3 SoCon), which won for the third time in its last four outings and claimed its fifth straight verdict in its series with UNCG (3-11, 0-5 SoCon).

Butler, a 6-foot-2 freshman forward from Norcross, Ga., who had scored only eight points in limited action prior to Saturday’s contest, fashioned a breakout performance, draining 6-of-7 shots and claiming four rebounds in just 11 minutes of action.

Two of Butler’s six baskets were set up by junior guard Brigid Morrissey, who racked up a career high 10 assists, and three more followed passes from Katilin Murphy, who tallied five dishes along with five points and three steals.  The Paladins’ 22 assists marked a season high.

Butler scored eight of her 12 points in the final six minutes of the first half, helping the Paladins extend a 16-12 lead to a 24-14 advantage with 2:57 to go in the opening period.  Furman took a 32-20 lead into the locker room after Murphy stole the ball and dribbled the length of the court before connecting on a runner in the lane as time expired.

The Paladins maintained their double digit lead in the second half, twice stretching it to 18 points on layups by Butler.

A Kelsey Ellis 3-pointer with 9:26 remaining put Furman firmly in control, 53-32, and a Murphy three-ball on Furman’s next possession made it 56-32, marking the Paladins’ largest lead of the game.

Janae’ Stevenson led UNCG with 15 points and a game high 11 rebounds, but the Spartans were handicapped by a 29.7 percent shooting effort, making good on just 22-of-74 attempts.

UNCG freshman Lucy Mason, the nation’s top scoring freshman entering Saturday’s game, was limited to just eight points on 3-for-17 shooting.

UNCG used a 25-14 advantage on the offensive boards to post a 46-43 rebounding advantage.

Butler’s season-high 12-point performance helped Furman’s bench double up UNCG’s reserves by a 34-17 margin.

Appalachian State 77, Western Carolina 46

BOONE, N.C. - Appalachian State University women's basketball reeled off an early first-half run en route to a dominant 77-46 win over Southern Conference rival Western Carolina on Saturday at the Holmes Center.

The Mountaineers (9-3, 3-1 SoCon) took control of the contest early and never looked back as they picked up their eighth win in a row over the Catamounts (4-9, 2-3).

After falling behind in the first minute when WCU connected on a layup, App State seized all the momentum by scoring the next seven points to jump out to a 7-2 lead with 17:08 left in the first.

The Catamounts converted a pair of free throws to draw within three (7-4) seconds later, but it would be all Appalachian from that point on as the Mountaineers reeled off a 30-4 run to grab a commanding 37-8 lead with 7:10 remaining in the half.

Appalachian State led by as many as 31 points on four different occasions in the final six minutes of the half as Courtney Freeman and Maryah Sydnor led the charge with a combined 23 first-half points.

The Mountaineers limited Western to just 24.0 percent (6-of-25) from the floor in the first half, including 0-of-11 from beyond the arc. Appalachian countered by shooting 43.8 percent (14-of-32) through the first 20 minutes including 14-of-20 from the charity stripe.

A slow start to the first half for the Mountaineers would allow Western Carolina to cut the deficit to 21 points (44-23), but it was all the closer the Catamounts could get as Appalachian never led by less than 29 points after Michelle Taylor's layup at the 15:49 mark made it 53-23.

C. Freeman led all players in scoring with 19 points while Anna Freeman poured in 17 and grabbed nine rebounds. Sydnor tallied 16 points and eight rebounds to go along with four assists.

Lindsay Simpson paced the Catamounts with 15 points off the bench, but was the only WCU player to score more than six points in the game.

As a squad, Appalachian shot 46.7 percent (28-of-60) from the floor including 19-of-25 from the free throw line. Western shot just 26.7 percent (16-of-60) on the afternoon and was just 2-of-21 from long range.

The Mountaineers pulled down 46 rebounds to WCU's 33 and forced the Catamounts into 22 turnovers, which the team converted into 33 points.

Davidson 58, Wofford 45

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Sophia Aleksandravicius scored 15 points, all in the second half, to tie Jennifer O’Brien’s all-time points mark and Davidson won its third straight with a 58-45 road win at Wofford Saturday afternoon in Southern Conference women’s basketball at Benjamin Johnson Arena.

The senior forward, who just missed breaking the record with a missed free throw, also hauled in a game-high 11 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season, while adding five blocks and four steals. She scored 13 of the ‘Cats final 17 points.

She hit the tying two points, her 1,509th and 1,510th, on the Wildcats’ last layup of the game to make it 58-38 with 4:16 left.

Davidson (7-7, 4-0 SoCon) remained unbeaten in the SoCon as it picked up its fifth straight league win dating back to last year. The Wildcats have now won 16 of their last 18 SoCon contests dating back to last Jan. 13, 2012.

Laura Murray reached the double-digit mark for the fourth game in a row, netting 18 points to go with four of the Wildcats’ 15 steals. She was 6-of-9 in the first half for 16 points.

Katrin Chiemeka had a career-best nine rebounds, while Hannah Early had eight points off the bench and Dakota Dukes chipped in six points, five rebounds and three assists.

Wofford’s (5-8, 0-5 SoCon) Daniella Motley registered a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, but was held to just one point in the second half. Morgan Wrightson was next with seven points.

For the second game in a row, Murray and Aleksandravicius took turns carrying the Wildcats. Down 4-0 after two buckets from Motley a minute and a half into the game, Davidson caught fire behind Murray. The Wildcats, who shot 48 percent in the half, rolled off an 18-2 run with the junior scoring 11 of the points, including six off three of her own steals, and the score was 18-6 in favor of the ‘Cats.

Early and Alex Long got in on the scoring later, canning a triple, one of five in the half by Davidson (5-of-6), and a pair of free throws to push the lead out to 28-14 with 8:58 left in the half. Chiemeka hit a running layup for Davidson’s last bucket for 35-21 score at the break.

The second half saw Davidson lead by 20 points twice, with Aleksandravicius hitting a pair of layups each time to make it a 20-point advantage. The Wildcats did not allow Wofford to get any closer than the final score.

The 6-5 forward nearly had a double-double in the second half, finishing 7-of-10, including hitting a trey, for 15 points and nine rebounds.

The Wildcats wrap up a three-game road swing with a trip to Greenville, S.C., to face Furman this coming Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m.