GREENSBORO, N.C. --- University of Tennessee at Chattanooga head coach Wes Moore cleared his bench early and often Saturday at Fleming Gymnasium and all 10 players found the basket as the Lady Mocs put together a 76-46 Southern Conference win over the Spartans. Chattanooga improves to 10-2 overall and 3-0 in SoCon action while the Spartans fall to 3-9 on the year and 0-3 in league play.
Senior Kayla Christopher (Oliver Springs, Tenn.) led all scorers with 19 points making 8-of-12 from the floor and 3-of-7 from beyond the arc while posting game-highs for assists (3) and steals (3). Junior Ashlen Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C.) scored early in the first half with six of Chattanooga's first nine points and closed out with 14 points, six rebounds, three assists, a pair of blocked shots and two steals in 19 minutes.
The Lady Mocs never trailed in the game and the score was tied just once in 40 minutes. Dewart put in the first shot for Chattanooga but it was quickly tied up on a layup from UNCG's Sidnei Harmon. Junior Alex Black (Memphis, Tenn.) drained the first of her three 3-pointers to give Chattanooga the lead for good less than 80 seconds into the game.
The first half was filled with runs including a 15-0 run by UTC to take a 24-8 lead followed by a UNCG 10-0 run to cut it to 24-18. However, Chattanooga scored 12 straight points in the closing minutes of the second half to make it 36-20 at the half.
In the second half, the closest the game would get would be a 15-point margin as the Lady Mocs maintained a double-digit lead through the period. UTC pushed its lead further out with a 13-0 run fueled by Dewart and junior Meghan Downes (Newnan, Ga.) who combined for eight points while freshman Alicia Payne (Memphis, Tenn.) made her first jumper this year with a pull-up from 15 feet. That run put the Lady Mocs up 68-39 with just 4:28 to play.
On the boards, the Lady Mocs outrebounded UNCG 38-35 and had 12 offensive boards to the Spartans 13, but outscored them 13-11 on second chance points. The bench saw more action in the second half as Chattanooga pulled away and freshman Tatianna Jackson (Atlanta, Ga.) scored all eight of her points in the second half and had a team-high seven rebounds in the game.
The Lady Mocs return to action Monday at 7 p.m. at Elon in Alumni Gym. The game will be carried live on ESPN 105.1 FM.