UTC women struggle late but hold off Furman to win on road

Staff file photo by Matt Hamilton / UTC women's basketball coach Shawn Poppie was frustrated by his team's struggles in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's win at Furman.
Staff file photo by Matt Hamilton / UTC women's basketball coach Shawn Poppie was frustrated by his team's struggles in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's win at Furman.

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball coach Shawn Poppie isn't going to apologize for winning ugly games.

But he's not about to let mediocrity slide, either.

The Mocs were able to hold off Furman 60-53 on Thursday night in Greenville, South Carolina, improving to 24-4 overall and 12-1 in the Southern Conference with one game remaining in the regular season.

That contest is against Wofford (16-11, 8-5) at 2 p.m. Saturday in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and while the Mocs have already locked up the top seed for next week's SoCon tournament in Asheville, North Carolina, the Terriers are currently alone in second but just one game ahead of three teams: East Tennessee State, UNC Greensboro and Mercer.

From a stakes standpoint, the game will be huge for Wofford and not so much for UTC. That doesn't mean it has no importance to the Mocs, especially after Poppie expressed frustration about some of the lack of execution at Furman, when UTC's 16-point lead in the third quarter was down to four late in the game as the Paladins (14-15, 4-9) pushed for the upset.

It was similar to the last quarter during the Mocs' senior day loss to UNCG last Saturday, when they gave up 31 points in the final period as a nine-point lead heading into the fourth evaporated in a 68-64 defeat.

"We're 28 games into the season, and we're not learning from mistakes," Poppie said on the postgame radio broadcast Thursday night. "We made the exact same mistakes we made last Saturday at the exact same times; Furman just didn't make the shot.

"I'm happy, don't get me wrong, we competed and did some things. But if we really want to win a championship next weekend up in Asheville, it has to be better."

The Mocs were led by Jada Guinn's 12 points, and the 5-foot-9 guard added seven assists, five rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Addie Porter and Raven Thompson scored 11 points apiece, with Thompson grabbing 14 rebounds. Porter was kept off the boards, but she had three steals and a blocked shot.

Hannah Kohn had nine points off the bench, while Sigrun Olafsdottir chipped in seven for the reigning SoCon tournament champions.

Compiled by Gene Henley. Contact him at ghenley@timesfreepress.com.

Upcoming Events