BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Samford senior guard Paige Anderson scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting to lead the Bulldog women's basketball team to a 58-48 Southern Conference win over Chattanooga Wednesday evening in the Pete Hanna Center.
With the win, Samford improves to 17-10 overall and 12-6 in Southern Conference play. The win moves fourth-place Samford to just two games behind third-place Chattanooga in the league standings. The Lady Mocs are now 19-8 overall and 14-4 in league play.
"I thought this was as complete a 40 minutes as we have played all year, from an offensive and defensive standpoint," Samford head coach Mike Morris said. "I was pleased with our total effort. I thought our mindset was right."
Behind Anderson for Samford, fellow senior guard Ruth Ketcham scored 14 points. Ketcham made 6-of-13 shots from the floor. Senior guard Jazmine Powers added nine points to the winning effort. Senior forward J'Quita Babineaux, making her first start, had five rebounds and four assists, to go along with her three points.
"I thought our seniors really stepped up," Morris said. "Obviously, Paige made some big shots and Ruth made some big shots. Jaz Powers played well defensively. Jay Babineaux, stepping up and getting the start, played well defensively, and was very good guarding Whitney Hood, who is a very good player."
In addition to the seniors for Samford, junior forward Hannah Dawson had eight points and eight rebounds.
Chattanooga was led by Whitney Hood with 16 points. Taylor Hall had eight points, while Kylie Lambert scored seven points and grabbed eight rebounds.
In the first half, after Samford scored the first four points of the game, Chattanooga fought back to cut the lead to two points at 7-5. Samford then went on a 10-0 run to push its lead out to 12 points at 17-5 with 13:00 to go in the first half after a layup by Dawson.
Chattanooga fought back to cut the lead to five points at 21-16 with 7:20 to go in the first half after a three-pointer by Hall. Samford pushed its lead out to as much as 13 points in the first half at 34-21 with 1:35 to go in the half after a jumper by Ketcham. Samford took a 34-23 lead into halftime.
Samford increased its lead to 16 points early in the second half at 41-25 with 16:57 to go after a three-pointer by Ketcham. Chattanooga, however, went on a 14-4 run to cut the lead to six points at 45-39 with 10:36 to go after a jumper by Meghan Downes.
Chattanooga closed to within four points at 47-43 with 5:50 to go after a pair of free throws by Hood. Anderson, however, made three-pointers on Samford's next two possessions to push the lead back out to 10 points at 53-43 with 4:11 left in the contest.
After a pair of free throws by Alex Black cut the Samford lead to eight points at 53-45, Samford scored five of the next six points to take a 12-point lead at 58-46 with 1:23 to go after a free throw by Anderson. A late layup by Downes made the final score 58-48.
As a team, Samford shot 45.1 percent, including a 39.1-percent effort from three-point range. Chattanooga made just 29.8 percent of its shots and 21.1 percent of its attempts from beyond the arc.
Samford will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 25, when the Bulldogs play host to Appalachian State. The game, which will be Senior Day for the Bulldogs, is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start from the Pete Hanna Center.