WVSU On Demand
March 10, 2010
Bulldogs Charge To SoCon Final, Fall To UTC 72-67
The Samford women's basketball team charged all the way to the final of the Southern Conference Tournament March 8 but fell to the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga 72-67.
Chattanooga's Shanara Hollinquest scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the top-seeded Lady Mocs' women's basketball team to a 72-67 win over second-seeded Samford in the championship game at Time Warner Cable Arena.
"This is definitely not the way we wanted this game to go," Samford head coach Mike Morris said. "I was very pleased with the effort of our team. We were in new territory, playing in a conference tournament final, and I was very pleased with the way we came out and competed. But you have to give credit to Chattanooga. They have the experience, they've been here before and that kind of showed down the stretch."
Samford drops to 22-10 with the loss. The Bulldogs will now play in the WNIT, which will mark the first national postseason tournament bid in the 13-year history of the program. Chattanooga earns the SoCon's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Both tournament fields will be announced on Monday, Mar. 15.
"We got beat by a good team," Morris said. "They played well down the stretch. I thought we had a chance to win the basketball game, we approached it the right way, but we just fell a little short. This is what championship games are about, two teams who after 20 league games are the best two teams in the league. I thought we played well, it just wasn't quite enough today."
Samford was led in scoring by junior forward Savannah Hill with 26 points and seven assists. Junior guard Emily London scored 12 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while senior guard Monica Maxwell added 10 points for the Bulldogs. Hill, London and Maxwell were all named to the All-Southern Conference Tournament team.
Hollinquest, who led Chattanooga in both scoring and rebounding, was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Following Hollinquest, Michelle Davis scored 16 points, while Kayla Christopher and Jenaya Wade-Fray added 11 points apiece.
The teams traded baskets early in the first half. With Samford leading, 9-8, Chattanooga went on a 14-2 run to take a 22-11 lead with 10:31 to go in the first half. With Chattanooga leading, 24-15, Samford answered with a 13-2 run to take a 28-26 lead with 3:42 to go after a three-pointer by Maxwell.
After a Chattanooga basket tied the score at 28-28, Samford closed the half with a 10-2 run to take a 38-30 lead into halftime.
Early in the second half, Samford pushed its lead out to 11 points at 41-30 and 43-32. Chattanooga fought back to cut the lead to six at 45-39 with 13:27 to go in the game. Samford, however, pushed the lead back out to 11 at 50-39 with 12:38 to go after a three-pointer by Hill.
Chattanooga then went on a 10-0 run to cut the Samford lead to one at 50-49 with 6:59 to go after a layup by Wade-Fray. With Samford leading, 56-54, Chattanooga went on an 11-4 run to take a 65-60 lead 50 seconds to go after a free throw by Tenisha Townsend.
Samford was able to cut the lead to three on three different occasions, but Chattanooga made 7-of-8 free-throw attempts down the stretch to seal the 72-67 win.
For the game, Chattanooga made 20 of its 23 attempts from the free-throw line, compared to 5-of-8 for Samford from the charity stripe. Chattanooga shot 45.7 percent from the floor overall, including a 38.5-percent effort from three-point range. Samford shot 47.4 percent overall and 32.0 percent from the beyond the arc.