CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- There’s no place like home and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s basketball team proved that Saturday night with a 75-36 win over Wofford at the McKenzie Arena. Chattanooga improves to 15-3 overall and 7-0 in league play while the Terriers fall to 3-14 on the year and 1-5 against the Southern Conference.
Chattanooga head coach Jim Foster cleared the bench and played all freshmen in the final six minutes as he picked up his 798th career win. All 13 Chattanooga players found the scoring column led by senior Ashlen Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C.) with a game-high 19 points in 22 minutes.
Despite the scoring effort from UTC, the game started rather slow with neither team finding the net for nearly two-and-a-half minutes before Dewart dropped in the first points with 17:35 to play in the first.
“We just weren’t making shots,” Foster said of the slow start. “We were getting shots early. The ball was moving so I wasn’t concerned. I knew the ball would start to fall.”
Wofford tied it up and that’s as close as it would be the rest of the game as Chattanooga reeled off the next nine points to take an 11-2 lead with 14:35 to play on a 3-pointer from freshman Chelsey Shumpert (Paducah, Ky.) She was 2-of-5 from the 3-point line and 3-of-4 from the free throw line for nine points. She added three rebound, five assists and three steals.
Senior Alex Black (Memphis, Tenn.) hit a jumper with 4:56 to play in the opening stanza to give Chattanooga its largest lead of the half, 32-10 and UTC would lead 34-14 at intermission.
The second half saw Chattanooga continue its offensive push, eventually leading by as much as 42 points on a jumper from freshman Moses Johnson (Atlanta, Ga.) with 2:54 to play. But it was also a defensive game for UTC who held Wofford to just 36 points, the fewest by any Chattanooga opponent this year.
“We’ve been talking about defense and we’ve been practicing very intensely the last three days,” Foster said. “There’s not a whole lot you can improve this time of year. You can tweak things. You can work on some offensive things, but the biggest improvement you can make this time of year is defense and just getting everybody on the same page.”
Chattanooga owned the paint Saturday night with a 48-8 advantage over Wofford while the bench outscored the Terriers 35-15.
UTC remains at home to host Furman Monday afternoon in a 2 p.m. tilt. Tickets are on sale at the McKenzie Arena box office. Call 423.266.MOCS (6627) or log onto the official website of Chattanooga athletics, GoMocs.com.
Chattanooga’s home win streak, currently the nation’s longest, extended to 33 straight games while UTC also picked up its 23rd consecutive Southern Conference win, 11th straight win this season and 33rd consecutive against the Terriers.