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Lady Mocs rally past GSU

Lady Mocs rally past GSU

Lady Mocs rally past GSU


    Before Monday, the Chattanooga Mocs hadn’t trailed at halftime since Dec. 1, when Colorado State took a 13-point lead into the locker room.
    The Mocs won that game, too.
    Georgia Southern battled to a 30-28 lead at the break but an explosive second half propelled Chattanooga to a 72-60 win in Hanner Fieldhouse.
    “There was so much excitement with the opportunity that we had created for ourselves at halftime that I thought we got out of the (moment),” GSU coach Chris Vozab said. “We wanted the whole thing to happen. We’ve got to stay in the moment. That will help us communicate better and pay attention to detail. We didn't finish in the second half.”
It was the 15th win in a row for the Mocs (19-3, 11-0 Southern Conference) who haven’t lost a SoCon game since last season — an overtime affair at Elon on Jan. 7, 2013.
    Chattanooga has won 30 SoCon games in a row.
    “I think we have a good group that understands how to be successful,” said first-year UTC coach Jim Foster, who spent the previous 11 years at Ohio State. “They don’t get rattled when things aren’t going their way, they don’t get rattled when shots aren’t dropping. They just get to another level. We have confidence in ourselves.” 
    Taylor Hall dominated the game throughout, scoring a career-high 25 points, pulling in 11 rebounds and tacking on a team-high 3 assists and 4 steals.
    Georgia Southern (7-15, 5-6) was outrebounded 39-28.
    Despite the loss, Vozab hopes the team will take the positives out of hanging with a Chattanooga program that has dominated the SoCon.
    “We got better,” Vozab said. “That’s what we’re trying to do. We were a better team today than we were two days ago in terms or out execution throughout this game. I want our kids to feel good about getting better.”
    The Mocs took the lead early in the second half when they went on a 7-0 run that ended with a 3-pointer by Chelsey Shumpert, who scored all of her 13 points in the second half. The shot gave UTC a 35-32 lead. The run continued as the Mocs outscored GSU 27-6 over an 11 minute, 31 second stretch and pulled ahead 55-38 with a with an Ashlen Dewart layup.
    The Eagles came out of the gate playing lockdown defense, scoring 11 of their first 16 points off of 9 UTC turnovers.
    “We did everything we wanted from a defensive standpoint in the first half, offensively as well,” Vozab said. “We were in complete attack mode, making plays out of our offense. It was a great 20 minutes.”
    There was only one first-half lapse when, after GSU took a 14-9 lead on a 15-foot jumper by Anna Claire Knight, Chattanooga forced three straight turnovers and converted each into points. The Mocs took a 15-14 lead when Hall picked Angel McGowan’s pocket and laid it in on the other end.
    The Eagles came right back when MiMi DuBose, who was fouled hard on a 3-point attempt, sank all three freebies to give the advantage back to the Eagles.
    It was Chattanooga’s bench that kept it in the game in the first half, as five reserves combined for 13 points, however a pair of Knight free throws gave GSU a 30-28 halftime lead.
    Knight led GSU with 19 points. DuBose and Briana Jones each scored 13 points.
    Georgia Southern is back in action on Saturday at 4 p.m., on the road against Elon.
NOTES: The win was the 15th in a row for Chattanooga. … This season, the closest game for UTC in SoCon play was an overtime game against Appalachian State on Jan. 13, a game the Mocs won 73-68. Since then, Chattanooga’s wins have come by 39, 18, 13, 14 and 12 points. UTC also has blowout wins over Alabama, Auburn and UAB.

    Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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