CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Lakiah Hyson scored a team-high 16 points and Agne Girstautaite had a career-high 13 in their final collegiate game as top-seeded Chattanooga eliminated No. 9 seed UNC Greensboro from the Southern Conference Women's Basketball Championship at Bojangles' Coliseum on Friday, 82-64.
Kendra Smith also added 12 points for UNCG, which finished its season 10-20 overall. The Spartans went 6-14 in the SoCon during the regular season and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the tournament for the third straight year.
Two-time SoCon Player of the Year Shanara Hollinquest played like it for the Lady Mocs (22-8), scoring a game-high 24 points to go with 10 rebounds for the game's only double-double.
Tenisha Townsend had 15 points for Chattanooga, while Michelle Davis had 14, Kayla Christopher had 13 and Jenaya Wade-Fray added 10.
UNCG was within striking distance at the last media timeout, trailing 69-57, but Chattanooga put the game out of reach with an 8-0 spurt. Davis and Townsend hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions, and Hollinquest capped the run with the last of her 24 points to make it a 20-point bulge with 2:12 to play.
Chattanooga set the tone early, hitting three straight 3-pointers after UNCG had opened up a 4-1 lead on buckets from Smith and Girstautaite. Townsend hit a pair of triples around one from Christopher as the Lady Mocs seized momentum and a 10-4 lead.
UNCG would get within four points just twice more in the game, on a Smith layup with 15 minutes left in the first and again on a pair of free throws from Hyson with 10:25 left in the opening frame. That was as close as the Spartans would get the rest of the way as the Lady Mocs would turn in a 10-1 run to double UNCG up, 26-13, with 5:55 left.
A three-point play from Smith and a turnaround jumper from Jazz Weaver in the last minute of the first drew UNCG within six, but Christopher hit a pair of free throws with 7.1 seconds left to give the Lady Mocs a 35-27 halftime edge.
UNCG was 0-for-9 from 3-point range in the first half and shot just 33.3 percent from the floor, but trailed at the break by just eight thanks to 11 Chattanooga turnovers. The Lady Mocs shot 52.2 percent in the opening frame, including a 5-for-7 effort from beyond the 3-point arc.
UNCG cut its deficit to five points at 37-32 with 17:23 to play, but Chattanooga answered with a 13-6 run to put its lead into double figures to stay.
The Spartans would keep their deficit within 10-15 points for much of the half, but could never mount a sustained run with guards Hyson, Monique Floyd and TaShama Banner battling foul trouble. Each of them had four by the 12:17 mark in the second half, but Hyson still scored eight of her points in the final 6:06, hitting a pair of 3s after spending a significant portion of the frame on the bench.
"I thought we started off with a bang," UNCG coach Lynne Agee said. "We got ourselves into foul trouble. Mo and Hyson both got into foul trouble. Then we had to worry about getting them back in, and that is always a challenge. So, naturally we lost ground with them on the bench. That's just a decision.
"We didn't rebound well at all. We hardly had any second chances. We had missed shots, we didn't box out, and they are a very physical team."
The Spartans shot an even 50 percent in the second half, going 14-for-28 from the floor. UNCG was 4-for-7 from 3-point range, but the Lady Mocs shot nearly 56 percent in the half and hit seven 3s to extend their lead.
UNCG finished with just 10 turnovers to Chattanooga's 12, but the Lady Mocs had just one in the second half.
NOTES: UNCG falls to 1-5 against Chattanooga in the SoCon tournament all-time. … Hyson had one steal, finishing her career with 198, seventh in UNCG history. … Girstautaite had one blocked shot, finishing her career second in school history with 108. … Amanda Leigh finished the season with 67 3-pointers, the second-best mark in school history. She wrapped up her junior season sixth in school history with 112 for her career. … Banner had six points and tied her season high with five rebounds in her final collegiate game. … Senior Dee Corbett saw two minutes of action in her last career game.
CHATTANOOGA 82, UNC GREENSBORO 64
UNC GREENSBORO (10-20)
Lakiah Hyson 5-10 4-4 16; Agne Girstautaite 6-7 1-1 13; Kendra Smith 5-12 1-1 12; Amanda Leigh 2-3 1-1 6; TaShama Banner 2-5 2-2 6; Amy Clapper 2-3 0-0 4; Monique Floyd 1-7 1-4 3; Jazz Weaver 1-2 1-2 3; Brey Dorsett 0-6 1-3 1; Sarah Folwell 0-3 0-0 0; Dee Corbett 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-58 12-18 64.
Shanara Hollinquest 10-15 2-6 24; Tenisha Townsend 5-7 2-2 15; Michelle Davis 5-8 0-1 14; Kayla Christopher 5-9 2-2 13; Jenaya Wade-Fray 3-10 2-4 10; Erin Helton 2-5 0-0 4; Kylie Lambert 1-1 0-1 2; Kiara Smith 0-0 0-0 0; Kori Penland 0-1 0-0 0; Megan Rollins 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 31-57 8-16 82.
UNC Greensboro 27 37 64
Chattanooga 35 47 82
3-point goals--UNC Greensboro 4-16 (Lakiah Hyson 2-4; Kendra Smith 1-2; Amanda Leigh 1-2; Jazz Weaver 0-1; Brey Dorsett 0-4; Sarah Folwell 0-3), Chattanooga 12-23 (Michelle Davis 4-6; Tenisha Townsend 3-5; Shanara Hollinquest 2-2; Jenaya Wade-Fray 2-4; Kayla Christopher 1-4; Kori Penland 0-1; Megan Rollins 0-1). Fouled out--UNC Greensboro-None, Chattanooga-None. Rebounds--UNC Greensboro 28 (Lakiah Hyson 6), Chattanooga 39 (Shanara Hollinquest 10). Assists--UNC Greensboro 12 (Kendra Smith 4), Chattanooga 13 (Kayla Christopher 3; Tenisha Townsend 3). Total fouls--UNC Greensboro 17, Chattanooga 14. Technical fouls--UNC Greensboro-None, Chattanooga-None. A-1075
- UNCG -