ELON, N.C. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team let the lead slide away down the stretch and fell 70-60 in overtime to Elon in Southern Conference action Monday night at Alumni Gym. The Lady Mocs fall to 10-3 overall and 3-1 in league play while the Phoenix move to 6-7 on the year and 3-1 in conference action.
After grabbing the lead late in the first half, Chattanooga was never out front by more than six points throughout the second. Elon scored seven straight points over a four-minute stretch in the final five to take its first lead, 56-55 with 58 seconds to play on a layup by Kelsey Evans. Chattanooga junior Ashlen Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C.) hit a layup and junior Alex Black (Memphis, Tenn.) hit the second of two free throws to put the Lady Mocs back up 58-56 with 21.4 seconds on the clock.
With nine seconds to play, Elon's Sam Cofer missed a jumper, but Evans was there for the put back to tie it up 58-58 with seconds to play. Chattanooga senior Kayla Christopher's (Oliver Springs, Tenn.) last second shot fell short and the Lady Mocs faced its first overtime of the year.
In overtime, the Phoenix connected on five of their six free throw attempts in overtime to get out to a 63-58 lead with 2:07 to play. Dewart's layup was Chattanooga's lone score of the bonus period and Elon got seven more points in the final minutes for the win.
Dewart led the Lady Mocs with 20 points, her sixth game this season with 20 or more points, and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds. She was 8-of-18 from the field and 4-of-9 from the charity stripe. Christopher scored 15 points, all in the first half, to move to a tie with Nancy Smith (1987-91) for 19th on the all-time scoring charts. She was 6-of-13 from the field and 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Senior Kylie Lambert (Etowah, Tenn.) had eight points, seven rebounds, tied her career-high with six assists and set a career mark with seven steals. Black had eight points, three rebounds and two assists for the Lady Mocs.
After shooting 43.3 percent (13-30) in the first half, Chattanooga's offensive output went down in the second making just 8-of-30 from the floor and 1-of-8 in overtime. The Lady Mocs were 6-of-25 from beyond the arc led by Christopher's three, and 10-of-21 from the free throw line.
Elon outrebounded Chattanooga 47-40 with the Lady Mocs holding a 19-13 advantage on the offensive boards. However, the Phoenix edged UTC 17-16 on second chance points. In the paint Elon outscored Chattanooga 26-22 and got six points from its bench to Chattanooga's four. UTC forced 20 Elon turnovers and scored 16 points to the Phoenix' 11 on 13 Chattanooga miscues.
Elon was 27-of-61 on the night (44.3%) and 5-of-13 from beyond the arc while making 11-of-15 from the free throw line. Ali Ford led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting, 3-of-7 from the 3-point line and 4-of-5 from the free throw line while dishing out four assists and turning the ball over eight times. Evans was 7-of-16 and had 19 points and 21 rebounds with five blocked shots. Kelsey Harris was the third Elon player in double figures with 14 points and four rebounds.
Chattanooga returns home next weekend to host Georgia Southern at the McKenzie Arena Saturday at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at the box office by calling (423) 266-MOCS (6627) or online at GoMocs.com. For those unable to make the game, listen live on Hippie Radio 106.9 FM. Live stats and video streaming will be available on the women's basketball schedule page at GoMocs.com.