[Editor's note: This story was written by and originally appeared on the website of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.]
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior Aryanna Gilbert had a career night to lead the Mocs to a 68-58 overtime win against Samford in Southern Conference women’s basketball action Thursday night at the McKenzie Arena.
Chattanooga improves to 13-7 overall and 4-2 against the Socon. Samford is 10-11 on the year and 2-4 in league play.
Gilbert recorded just her second career double-double. She led all scorers with a season-high tying 25 points and a career-best 13 rebounds. She added in three steals while playing all 45 minutes.
“She did a lot,” Chattanooga head coach Jim Foster said of the play of Gilbert. “That stat line shows that she made us a better defensive team tonight because she got us 12 defensive rebounds. You’re not a good team defensively unless you close out plays.
“If the other team shoots, misses and gets the rebound and scores, they’re shooting 50 percent. If they miss and you get the rebound, that’s zero percent.”
Sophomore Lakelyn Bouldin was the second Chattanooga player in double figures. She was 7-of-12 from the field with a pair of 3-pointers for 19 points and grabbed seven boards and two steals.
The Mocs trailed Samford 52-50 with 3:07 to play in regulation. Aryanna and her sister Keiana Gilbert combined for five points to give Chattanooga a 55-52 lead with 29 seconds on the clock.
Samford’s Hannah Nichols, playing for the first time after missing back-to-back games with an injury, drained a 3-pointer with 21 seconds to play to send the game into overtime.
The Mocs held the Bulldogs to just 1-of-9 shooting in the extra period, outscoring Samford 13-3. Chattanooga started the scoring off with Bouldin’s second 3-pointer of the game to go up 58-55, but Samford came back with a trey from Cassidy Williams to tie it for the ninth and final time.
Freshman Brooke Burns, who had seven points off the bench, gave Chattanooga the lead for good, 61-58 with 3:40 to play. That shot sparked a 10-0 run by the Mocs to close out the game for Jim Foster’s 899th victory.
The Mocs shot 43.6 percent (24-55) for the game and were 6-of-16 from the 3-point line. Aryanna Gilbert and Bouldin combined to go 8-of-8 from the free throw line. Gilbert leads the SoCon from the line, upping her percentage to 91.7 percent (44-of-48). Bouldin is now 55-of-63 (87.3%) on the year.
Chattanooga edged Samford 26-24 in the paint and got 12 points off 16 Bulldogs miscues compared to nine points off 11 UTC turnovers. The game was tied nine times with eight lead changes. Samford led for more than 23 minutes while the Mocs held the advantage just 14:08.
Makaila Woolard led Samford with 13 points. Cassidy Williams had 11 points off the bench, making 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Nichols added 10 points and five rebounds in 25 minutes. She was 4-of-9 form the field and 2-of-5 from the 3-point line and added in five rebounds, all on the offensive end. The Bulldogs’ bench outscored the Mocs 31-13.
Chattanooga will host league-leading Mercer Saturday afternoon in the first game of a double header. The game is set to tip off at 2:00 p.m. and the Zooperstars will be on hand to entertain the crowds. Stick around for the men’s game against VMI to follow at 5:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at the Mckenzie Arena or online at GoMocs.com.