CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s basketball team shot 55 percent in the second half to snare an 80-52 win over Auburn Sunday afternoon at the McKenzie Arena. Chattanooga improves to 4-1 on the year and adds one more to its home court win streak while Auburn falls to 3-2 overall.
The Lady Mocs jumped out to a 14-0 lead to start the game before Auburn could catch its breath and get back into the game. It would take the Tigers two time outs and almost 10 minutes to get to within three points, making it 23-20 with 5:46 to play in the first. However, Chattanooga, who never trailed, outscored Auburn 12-4 down the stretch and led 35-24 at the break.
Senior Meghan Downes (Newnan, Ga.) scored all eight of her first half points in the opening run and closed out the contest with a game-high 17 points and adding a career-high three steals.
In the second, the Lady Mocs held on to its double-digit lead. Auburn scored the first point of the second half to get as close as 10 points twice, but Chattanooga pushed the offense and on the strength of a 21-2 run, achieved its greatest lead, 58-29 with 12:38 to play.
Senior Ashlen Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C.) tied her season-high with 13 points and added five rebounds. Classmate Alex Black (Memphis, Tenn.) went 5-of-6 from the field and a perfect 3-of-3 from the 3-point line for her season-best 13 points. Senior Taylor Hall (New Tazewell, Tenn.) had eight points and eight rebounds, tied her career-high for assists with seven and topped her career-best for steals with five.
Chattanooga dished out 18 assists and had a season-low seven turnovers to go along with 11 steals. The Lady Mocs shot 50.9 percent (29-of-57) from the field and was 7-of-16 (43.8%) from beyond the arc. In the first half, UTC was 7-of-7 from the free throw line and added eight more on 12 attempts in the second half making 78.9 percent.
In the paint, the Lady Mocs outscored Auburn 40-23 and had 29 points off 22 Tiger miscues. Chattanooga’s bench, with a combined 22 points from Black and junior Ka’Vonne Towns, outscored Auburn 35-17.
Auburn was 19-of-43 (44.2%) from the field led by Tra’Cee Tanner off the bench with 14 points and eight rebounds. Kiani Parker had 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Tyrese Tanner added eight points and five rebounds while Katie Frerkinjg had seven points off a 4-of-6 free throw effort.
Auburn shot just 36 percent in the first half making 9-of25, but stepped up its game in the second making 10-of-18 (55.6%) from the field.
Chattanooga’s home court win streak is now at 30 games, the second-longest active win streak in the nation behind Baylor’s 61.
Chattanooga closes out its home court run this calendar year and will play the next eight on the road beginning with a round robin classic in Hawaii. The Lady Mocs will open play at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa Rainbow Wahine Classic Friday against Minnesota. The game is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time.