It took an extra five minutes on the clock for the Chattanooga women to get a 73-70 win over Georgia State in the final game of the 2020 GSU Holiday Classic. UTC improves to 4-4 overall and the Panthers drop to 4-3 heading into the holiday break.
“It really shouldn’t have gotten to that point,” Chattanooga head coach Katie Burrows said. “When they turned up the heat, I felt like they were getting the loose ball, the loose rebounds. We were just kind of reaching for it. We needed to snatch it, so I challenged them in a couple of timeouts.”
The Mocs got out to a 27-12 start in the opening quarter behind a 14-point effort from Eboni Williams in the period. Chattanooga built that lead to 36-13 with 6:54 to play in the half, but the Panthers began chipping away and used a 13-1 run late in the second, cutting the lead to 37-26.
Chattanooga entered the final period with a nine-point lead, staying nearly steady through almost eight minutes of play. Williams dropped in a short turnaround jump shot with 2:13 to play and UTC led 64-56.
After the teams traded missed buckets, GSU’s Taylor Hosendove was fouled on her layup and converted a 3-point play to make it a 64-59 contest with 1:10 to go.
Dena Jarrells subbed into the game and drew a foul, but made just one of the two, putting UTC back up by six with 24 seconds on the clock.
Georgia State subbed in 3-point shooter Moriah Taylor who made her shot with 17 seconds to play. The Mocs lost the ball on the Panther end of the court and GSU had a shot at tying the game.
Taylor took the shot but it missed the mark. However, a Georgia State rebound put it into Taylor Henderson’s possession and her 3-pointer from the right side sailed through to tie the game with 0.8 seconds to play.
Burrows called for time to advance the ball and draw up the final play.
“At the end of regulation, we executed that play really well,” Burrows said. “The pass just has got to be on the mark when we have .8 seconds. Eboni was wide open though.”
Sigrun Olafsdottir inbounded the ball in front of the scorer’s table and Williams was able to shake her defender and get open, cutting to the basket. The ball was just a bit too much out front and Williams had to reach out. Her shot went up on the right side of the rim but never found real estate, sending the game into overtime tied at 65-65.
The Mocs won the jump to start overtime and Brooke Hampel drove in for an easy layup to get the scoring started. Williams made her first of two free throws to push the lead up to 68-65 less than a minute into the period.
Hosendove answered with a 3-pointer and the game was tied again 68-68 with 3:01 remaining.
Hampel made just one of her two free throws giving UTC a slim 69-68 margin, but Hannah Sadler put in a layup to give the Panthers their first lead of the game, 70-69, with 2:20 on the clock.
The Mocs retook the lead on a pull up jump shot from Williams and Olafsdottir connected on her two free throws at the end to force GSU to try for a long range shot with 17 seconds.
Taylor’s jumper was blocked by Williams with 11 seconds to play and Georgia State grabbed the offensive board to try again. Henderson’s shot missed the rim completely and landed out of bounds.
The Mocs once again advanced the ball but turned it over on a five-second violation trying to get it into the game with three seconds to play. The Panthers were not able to advance the ball having used all of their timeouts and Chattanooga’s press never let them get the shot off.
Williams led all scorers a career-high 30 points and a season-best 10 rebounds. She had 14 points in the opening period and 10 more in the fourth. She was 11-of-17 and made both 3-pointers.
“They recognized and she also recognized when there was a mismatch,” Burrows said of her junior forward. “They often had guards on her so she would go down and isolate them. We were smart enough to get the ball in there to her or at least, if they were sagging off to make the next pass to the next person and look for high-low action.”
Her 30 points ties her for 35th all-time at UTC for points in a game and she is the first since Jasmine Joyner (31 points, 15 rebounds vs. UT Martin, 11/28/15) to record 30 points and 10 rebounds in a game.
Abbey Cornelius got into foul trouble late, but Burrows left her in the game and she ended with a game-best 14 rebounds, all on the defensive end, six points, three assists and two blocked shots.
“Early on, the first few games, she got in foul trouble early in the games,” Burrows said. “I had a conversation with her and told her that she had to clean that up because we needed to have her in the game because of her versatility and her ability to step out and hit the outside shot and guard multiple positions.”
Bria Dial was 4-of-6 from beyond the arc for 14 points and had six rebounds. Olafsdottir added 13 points and grabbed a career-best eight rebounds and had six assists with two steals.
The Mocs shot 61.1 percent (11-18) in the opening period and closed out the game making 25-of-57 (43.9%). UTC was 10-of-19 (52.6%) from beyond the arc, but struggled at the free throw line again making just 13-of-22.
Georgia State’s best quarter was the fourth making 10-of-21 in the period and making 27-of-75 (36%) for the game. The Panthers were 5-of-18 from beyond the arc with three coming in the fourth. They scored 36 points off a season-high 30 Chattanooga miscues and had 12 second chance points. The bench scored 30.
Chattanooga outrebounded GSU 50-34, their first 50-rebound game since pulling down 55 against ETSU last season.
For the second straight game the Mocs dished out 25 assists with Olafsdottir recording 14 over two games. Dial was 11-of-17 from beyond the arc in the Classic and Williams put up 50 points and 18 rebounds in two games.
The Mocs return to action December 29 for just its second-ever meeting with North Alabama. UTC won the home contest 85-84 in December 1987.