TUSCALOOSA, Ala. --- University of Tennessee at Chattanooga junior Ashlen Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C.) scored a team-high 19 points to lead the Lady Mocs to a 72-58 win over Alabama at Foster Auditorium Saturday afternoon. Chattanooga improves to 7-1 on the year and has two wins over SEC opponents in the same season for the first time since defeating Florida (80-55) and Mississippi State (72-62) in the 1982-83 season. Alabama suffers just its second loss of the season falling to 5-2.
Dewart, one of five Chattanooga players in double figures, was 9-of-13 for the game and scored the first 11 points for the Lady Mocs to start the second half while adding in eight rebounds. Junior Taylor Hall (New Tazewell, Tenn.) was 6-of-11 with a 3-pointer for 14 points and seven boards. She was 1-of-1 from the free throw line and played limited minutes in the second half after getting into foul trouble.
Senior Kylie Lambert (Etowah, Tenn.) started the game with eight points and finished with 13 on the day and just missed a double-double with nine boards. Classmate Kayla Christopher (Oliver Springs, Tenn.), however, recorded her first double-double this season with 10 points and 10 rebounds and was 3-of-7 from beyond the arc. The seniors combined for seven of Chattanooga's 17 assists. Sophomore Ka'Vonne Towns (Fairburn, Ga.) was the fifth UTC player in double digits making 3-of-3 from beyond the arc and tied her season-high with 11 points and had four assists.
Alabama got the opening tip, but Lambert forced a turnover and went down the court for the first score of the game on a jumper to take a 2-0 lead and the Lady Mocs never trailed.
The Crimson Tide matched Chattanooga shot for shot over the first 3:13 of the game, but the Lady Mocs pulled away on a 16-1 run with scoring from five different players to take a 23-8 lead with 11:14 to play in the first half. Chattanooga led by as much as 16 points three different times in the first half and carried a 41-27 advantage into halftime.
The second half started with Dewart hitting a short jumper. She followed it making one of two free throws to give Chattanooga a 44-27 lead, its largest of the game, at the 18:47 mark of the latter stanza.
The Tide pushed back to start the second half and, despite the scoring from Dewart, outscored UTC 18-11 over the first half of the second period to get to within seven at 52-45 with 9:26 to play. Alicia Mitcham converted on back-to-back 3-point plays while Dalisha Simmons added in three of her game-high 20 points in the effort.
The Lady Mocs survived the scare, however, and the Tide would never get any closer. Chattanooga went on a 12-3 run over the next 3:27 to push the lead back out to 16 at 64-48 with 4:49 to play and would go on to grab a 72-58 victory.
The Lady Mocs out rebounded Alabama 57-40 for their highest rebounding effort of the season and dished out 17 assists to the Tide's nine. The Lady Mocs were forced into 22 turnovers resulting in 19 Alabama points while Chattanooga also scored 19 on 10 Crimson Tide miscues. Both teams recorded 16 offensive boards with Alabama holding a sligh13-12 edge in second chance points.
The Lady Mocs shot 48.5 percent (16-of-33) in the first half and ended the game making 28-of-65 (43.1%) from the field. Chattanooga was 10-of-25 from beyond the arc, marking the third time UTC has reached double figures at the 3-point line. The Lady Mocs were 6-of-10 from the free throw line.
The Tide made 22-of-76 (28.9%) from the field and made 5-of-22 3-pointers while converting on 9-of-14 free throws. Simmons was 8-of-19 from the field with two 3-pointers and was 2-of-4 from the free throw line and dished out a game-high six assists and five steals. Shafontaye Myers had 12 points while Mitcham had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Chattanooga will host Jacksonville State Wednesday, December 12 for its final home game of the 2012 calendar year. The game is set for a 7 p.m. start and will be carried live on ESPN 105.1 FM.