published Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Lady Mocs falter against Samford

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team's second-half rally came up short Wednesday night at the Pete Hanna Center.

Samford's Paige Anderson hit back to back 3-pointers in the final five minutes to help the Bulldogs hold off UTC and close out a 58-48 win.

The Southern Conference's top shooting team, Samford made baskets from all over the court in the first 23 minutes to build a 41-25 lead. UTC was eventually able to close the gap to 47-43 before Anderson's 3s pushed the Bulldogs' lead to 53-43 with 4:11 remaining.

"The kids did fight hard in the second half, but when you're playing a team like Samford you can't wait until the second half to start playing," UTC coach Wes Moore said. "We dug a big hole and couldn't quite get out of it."

The Bulldogs hit just 28.3 percent of their shots in a loss at Western Carolina on Monday, 15 percent below their average, but Samford (17-10, 12-6 SoCon) came out firing against the Mocs (19-8, 14-4).

Whitney Hood led UTC with 16 points. The Lady Mocs finished 17 of 57 from the field, 4 of 19 from 3-point range and 10 of 15 from the free-throw line.

Anderson scored 18 to lead Samford, which shot 45.1 percent, hit nine 3s and improved to 10-0 at home.

The Lady Mocs will close out the regular season with home games against Davidson on Saturday and Appalachian State on Monday. UTC will need to win both and get some help to have a shot at sharing the SoCon title.

The Bulldogs, who were 14 of 29 from the field in the first half, led 34-23 at the break and started the second half strong. Samford led 41-25 with 16:44 to play before UTC closed the gap, but not all the way.

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