UTC Women’s Basketball Falls To Spartans in OT

The Chattanooga women mounted a late fourth quarter comeback Thursday night at Fleming Gym to force overtime before falling 63-61 at UNCG in Southern Conference women’s basketball action.

The Mocs grabbed a 26-25 lead at the half, but was doomed in the third quarter, scoring just four points to the Spartans’ 17 to trail 42-30 heading into the final period.

“We can’t only score four points and turn the ball over that many times in the third quarter,” Mocs head coach Katie Burrows said of her team’s struggle in the frame.

UTC was 1-of-15 in the third and had six turnovers. UNCG outscored the Mocs 7-3 to start the fourth quarter and led 49-33 with 7:39 to play in regulation. Over the next nearly two minutes the two teams combined to go 0-4.

A Spartan turnover sparked the Mocs’ 15-0 run. Karsen Murphy converted the turnover into her second 3-pointer of the game and first of three in the fourth. An unforced turnover by UNCG and a foul led to a pair of free throws from Addie Grace Porter to make it 49-38 with 5:02 on the clock.

Another pair of Spartan turnovers led to a fast break by Porter to cut the UNCG lead into single digits at 49-40 with 4:18 to go.

Brooke Hampel converted the next two UNCG miscues into back-to-back 3-pointers and a defensive rebounds by Murphy led to Hampel’s eight point in the run and pulled UTC to within a point, 49-48, with 2:49 remaining.

UNCG added three points to its total and led 52-48 with 44 seconds on the clock. Murphy knocked home a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 52-51. Chattanooga missed its next 3-point attempt but the rebound was knocked out of bounds by the Spartans, giving UTC life in regulation with 2.6 to play.

The ball in was in bounded to Murphy in the far corner and her 3-point shot was nothing but net to tie it up 54-54 with 0.2 seconds left.

“We battled so hard and got back in it, hit big shots,” Burrows said. “We should not be in these situations. That’s the frustrating part. They gutted it out. We gave ourselves a chance to win in the end and when it came down to it, it was that third quarter for sure.”

With the score tied 61-61, the Mocs tied it up and held possession with 14 seconds to play. However, a drive toward the basket by UTC into traffic resulted in a turnover and the Spartans called for time to advance the ball.

Aja Boyd made a stumbling drive to the basket and her heave found it way in to give UNCG the lead with 1.9 seconds to play. Chattanooga’s try at the end fell short at the buzzer.

Chattanooga is 0-4 against the Spartans in overtime with two of those in Greensboro.

The Mocs shot 44.4 percent from the field in the fourth and 3-of-5 in overtime and made 5-of-10 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. The Spartans were also 3-of-5 in overtime from the field including a 3-pointer and was 2-of-2 from the free throw line.

Chattanooga was 21-of-68 from the field and 8-of-32 from the 3-point line while making 11-of-14 from the free throw line. UNCG was 24-of-58 (41.4%) from the floor and 2-of-10 from beyond the arc while shooting 59.1 percent (13-22) from the free throw line.

On the boards, UTC edged the Spartans 44-43 and scored 18 points on 21 offensive rebounds. The Mocs scored 18 points off 21 UNCG turnovers while the Spartans had 24 points off 19 Chattanooga miscues.

Hampel matched her career-high with a team-high 18 points and dished out three assists. She had five rebounds, including four on the offensive end. Murphy recorded her first career double-double with 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. She was 4-of-8 from the 3-point line and had three blocked shots and two steals.

Porter and Sigrun Olafsdottir each chipped in 11 points. Olafsdottir pulled down eight rebounds with four steals and two assists. Porter was 7-of-8 from the free throw line and had five rebounds and two steals.

Boyd led all scorers with 21 points and was the only Spartan in double digits and added 12 rebounds and three blocked shots.

The Mocs fall to 6-20 overall and 4-7 against the SoCon while UNCG improves to 7-17 on the year and 3-8 in conference play.