Joyner Leads UTC Women To 74-56 Win Over Mercer

Saturday, January 7, 2017
 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Jasmine Joyner (Southaven, Miss.) recorded her fifth double-double of the season and led the Mocs to a 74-56 Southern Conference victory at Mercer Saturday afternoon.
 
Chattanooga evened its record to 8-8 overall and moved to 2-0 in league play, running its SoCon regular season win streak to 10 games. Mercer falls to 12-4 on the year and 1-1 against the conference.
 
Joyner had 24 points and 12 rebounds in the win, making 10-of-13 from the field.
She dished out four assists and added four blocked shots to her nation’s-leading total for 63 on the year.
 
Joining her in double figures were freshman Lakelyn Bouldin (Spencer, Tenn.) and junior Keiana Gilbert (Pulaski, Tenn.). Bouldin shot 70 percent, dropping in 17 points in the win while Gilbert was 7-of-9 with 15 points, four rebounds, two assists and a pair of blocks.
 
“Looking at Lakelyn [Bouldin] at Rutgers and she was very wide-eyed in her first college game,” Chattanooga head coach Jim Foster said. “Then we come in here and it is a very good crowd for them and different atmosphere from most of the places in our league and she is just very matter-of-fact.
 
“That’s why playing at Rutgers, Connecticut and Louisville is important. It becomes matter-of-fact for you.”
 
Chattanooga led 15-10 after the first quarter and gave up a 3-pointer to Mercer’s KeKe Calloway to start the second, getting the Bears to within two points at 15-13 10 seconds into the second period.
 
Joyner hit her one 3-pointer at the 8:31 mark and sparked a 13-0 run by the Mocs and Chattanooga got out in front of the Bears 28-13 with 2:27 remaining in the quarter. Mercer responded with a 10-7 advantage the remainder of the period and UTC led 35-23 at the half.
 
The second half started with a 16-5 run by Chattanooga and the Mocs led 51-28 with 5:05 to go in the period for its largest lead of the game.
 
Mercer would cut the lead to 14, outscoring Chattanooga 11-2 the rest of the third quarter behind seven points from Calloway to make it 53-39 after 30 minutes.
 
“They went into a little half-court trap and we knew it was coming,” Foster said. “Chelsey was on the bench and [Keiana] made a mistake going into a trap that she should not have gone into, so they got a couple of good baskets. Once we settled down and knew what we were going to do, we were fine.”
 
Chattanooga stretched its lead back out in the fourth quarter for an 18-point advantage. Joyner and Gilbert combined for 14 of the Mocs’ points in the frame.
 
UTC outscored Mercer 40-10 in the paint and outrebounded the Bears 33-26. The Mocs were 31-of-51 (60.8%) from the field, topping the 60 percent mark for the first time this season. They shot 58 percent or better each quarter.
 
“I think we played a solid four quarters of basketball,” Foster said. “That has been the goal, to get to be a four-quarter team and not a first-half team or a second-half team. All four quarters matter.”
Mercer was 21-of-60 on the day, making just 35 percent from the field. They were 9-of-24 from the 3-point line with Calloway and Kahlia Lawrence dropping in four apiece. Lawrence led the Bears with 24 points and three assists. Calloway added 18 points and six rebounds while Sydni Means had a game-high seven assists, six points and six rebounds.
 
The Mocs will host East Tennessee State Saturday, January 14 for their first SoCon home game this season. The game is set to tip off at 2 p.m. Follow all the action at GoMocs.com. Tickets are available online or at the McKenzie Arena box office.

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