Jarrells Leads Mocs in Wire-to-Wire Win Over UNCG

The Chattanooga Mocs led wire-to-wire and ran their win streak to four games with an 85-65 Southern Conference women’s basketball win over UNCG Saturday afternoon at The McKenzie Arena.

“It was the best we’ve played this season for a number of reasons,” Mocs head coach Katie Burrows said. “It’s been a few games since we’ve seen Dena [Jarrells] come along. She found her rhythm and did what she needed to do to get back on track for us.

“Sigrun [Olafsdottir] shot the ball well; haven’t seen her shoot the three like that in a long time. Abbey [Cornelius] is doing her thing and Amaria Pugh with a double-double. Mari has gotten better for us every game.”

Jarrells was 7-of-8 in the game, making all five of her 3-point tries, for a career-best 23 points. The five 3-pointers matched her career-high as did the game-best eight assists she dished out. Her four steals were one shy of her best set earlier this season at Eastern Kentucky.

Pugh posted her first double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds and made 9-of-13 from the free throw line. Cornelius dropped in 14 points with four assists and Olafsdottir, 3-of-4 from the 3-point line, had 13 points and a pair of steals.

Chattanooga never trailed in the game and started off making 11-of-14 in the opening quarter, shooting 78.6 percent. Jarrells had 10 points in the first quarter along with six assists. The Mocs continued their hot shooting the rest of the game never dipping below 50 percent in a quarter and finishing the game making 30-of-47 (63.8%).

“They are learning one another’s tendencies, when Sigrun is going to back cut, when Abbey is going to post up,” Burrows said of the team chemistry. “Yes, I think you’re seeing that the chemistry has definitely evolved. We are finally connecting and putting wins in the column.”

After getting out to a 7-0 lead to start the game, the Mocs put together a 21-2 run over the final 5:15 of the period to lead 29-8 heading into the second.

The second quarter saw UNCG get off seven straight points before the Mocs made a connection at the 6:26 mark on a pair of free throws from Jarrells. That started a 14-1 run by UTC capped off by another 3-pointer from Jarrells to make it a 43-16 lead in favor of the Mocs with 3:21 to play in the half.

Chattanooga led 48-22 at intermission.

The Spartans cut the Mocs’ lead to 19 points, 51-32 in the third quarter, outscoring UTC 10-3 to start the half. The frame was the best shooting for UNCG who outpaced the Mocs 21-18 in the quarter shooting 47.1 percent (8-17), but UTC marched into the final period leading 66-43.

UNCG would also take the fourth quarter by a 22-19 effort but only get as close as 18 points late in the game. The Spartans scored 23 points of 18 Chattanooga turnovers and scored 18 points off 16 offensive boards while its bench contributed 26 points.

The Mocs edged UNCG 36-30 in the paint and dished out a season-high 21 assists. UTC scored 16 points off 14 UNCG miscues. Chattanooga, having missed only 17 shots, scored eight points on five offensive rebounds.

Isys Grady had a team-high 14 points making 6-of-10 from the field and Khalis Cain was the only other Spartan in double figures with 10 points. She had seven rebounds, Nitzan Amar added nine points and Cece Crudup had a team-best four assists.

Chattanooga improves to 6-14 on the year and 4-1 in league play, just half a game behind Mercer (5-1) in the SoCon standings. UNCG falls to 5-12 overall and 1-3 against the conference.

The Mocs hit the road next weekend to close out the first half of SoCon action taking on Wofford Thursday in Spartanburg then traveling to Greenville for a contest at Furman.