CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga closed out the 2010-11 regular season winning eight of its last 10 games and hopes to carry that momentum into the Southern Conference Tournament which tips off this Thursday at 1 p.m. with the women's first round games.
The Lady Mocs earned the No. 3 seed, its lowest since Head Coach Wes Moore's first season when UTC was an eight seed. Chattanooga will play the second game Saturday morning at approximately 11:15 a.m. against the winner of the No. 6 UNCG/No. 11 Wofford game to be played Thursday evening.
After going 5-5 in the first half of the SoCon season, the Lady Mocs posted a stellar 8-2 mark over the final 10 games of the year to beat out Elon for the three seed. Chattanooga's two losses came against league champion Appalachian State and No. 2 Samford. UTC ranks third in the league in scoring offense, averaging 66.8 points per game and fourth from the field with a 41.2 shooting percentage. From beyond the arc, the Lady Mocs are second in the league behind Samford with 7.9 3-pointers per game and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage making 33.3 percent of their attempts. Chattanooga leads the SoCon in assist-turnover ratio with 14.4 assists and 13.3 miscues per game.
The Lady Mocs had two players recognized by the media and coaches in the postseason voting. Junior Whitney Hood (Meridian, Miss.) was voted to the all-conference first team by the Southern Conference Sports Media Association (SCSMA) and joined sophomore Kayla Christopher (Oliver Springs, Tenn.) on the coaches' All-SoCon poll.
Junior Bailey Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C.) found herself in a starting role for Chattanooga this year after suffering through injuries the last three seasons. She was voted the Ann Lashley Inspiration Award recipient by the league coaches. The award honors a student-athlete or coach who has shown outstanding courage or service. She is fifth on the team in scoring this season and third in rebounding and posted career-highs in both categories with 16 points and 16 rebounds while making the game-winning shot in a crucial win over Davidson earlier this year.
Hood was one of four Chattanooga players in the Top 30 in the Southern Conference in scoring with a league-high 19.2 points per game. Christopher is 14th with 11.6 points followed by junior Tenisha Townsend (Antioch, Tenn.) at 25th with 9.1 points. Sophomore Kylie Lambert just squeezed onto the list tied for 29th with 8.4 points per game.
In the rebounding category, Hood is seventh overall at 6.7 boards per game followed by Lambert's 6.0, which is 15th. Dewart averaged 5.4 rebounds per game with her 16 against Davidson serving as the team's best effort this season.
Hood also led the league in field goal percentage making 53.6 percent of her attempts while Christopher joined her on that list at 40.8 percent. Townsend has a team-high 3.8 assists per game which is seventh in the SoCon. Christopher ranks ninth in the league in assists (3.1), while the pair rank in the Top 3 of the league for assist-turnover ratio. Townsend is second at 1.7 (3.8 assists/2.2 turnovers), while Christopher is third at 1.6 (3.1/1.9).
From the 3-point line, Christopher has a team-high 61 long range bombs ranking her seventh in the SoCon with 2.1 per game and is fifth shooting 41.5 percent from the arc. Townsend has 53 3-pointers and Lambert, with 30, has made 37.5 percent of her attempts.
The Lady Mocs have a week off to prepare for either No. 6 UNCG or No. 11 Wofford in a late morning quarterfinals matchup Saturday. The game will tip at approximately 11:15 a.m. Tickets are available at the McKenzie Arena box office at 423.266.6627 or online at GoMocs.com. Live stats and streaming audio will be available online. Listen live on ESPN 105.1 FM.