CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- Despite holding Appalachian State to a season-low 57 points, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga struggled offensively and fell 57-56 to the Mountaineers on Senior Night Monday at the McKenzie Arena.
The loss drops Chattanooga to 13-13 overall and 10-7 in league play while the Mountaineers claim their 11th consecutive victory and improve to 2-14 overall and 15-2 against SoCon opponents.
The Lady Mocs drained eight first-half 3-pointers, but netted just one in the second half on 11 tries and the difference came down to free throws and rebounds as Chattanooga went 7-for-13 (53.8%) from the charity stripe compared to the Mountaineers' 9-of-12 (75%) performance. App State out rebounded the Lady Mocs 47-41, and UTC had 16 offensive boards resulting in 19 second chance points. ASU converted 14 offensive rebounds into 14 points.
The Lady Mocs started the game strong getting out to a 13-5 lead on 5-of-8 shooting with seven points from redshirt junior Bailey Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C.) who was honored before the game as she plays her final season of collegiate ball despite having a year of eligibility remaining.
The Mountaineers, however, found their feet and made it a game the rest of the half and led 29-28 at the break with neither team finding the bucket over the final 3:35 of the half. ASU was 13-of-30 (43.3%) from the floor in the first half without a 3-pointer on three tries. Chattanooga was 10-of-31 (32.3%) in the first making 8-of-20 (40%) from beyond the arc.
In the second half, App State got out to a four-point lead, 35-31 with 15:06 to play before the Lady Mocs got into the game and went on a 15-4 run capped off by a layup from freshman Taylor Hall (New Tazewell, Tenn.) to take its largest lead of the second half, 46-39 with 9:08 to play.
The Mountaineers held UTC scoreless over the next two minutes to take a 48-46 lead on a 9-0 run at the 7:08 mark, getting points from four different players including a 3-pointer from Ashlen Dewart, sister of UTC's Bailey Dewart.
Over the remaining time, the two teams traded the lead six times including three ties before the Mountaineers Kelsey Shark hit a layup with 11 seconds to play to take the lead for good, 57-56. The Lady Mocs missed a jumper with five seconds remaining and put ASU at the free throw line.
The Mountaineers missed the front end of the one-and-bonus and junior Whitney Hood (Meridian, Miss.) snared the rebound and quickly called timeout to set up the final play. Appalachian State pressed the Lady Mocs and forced a turnover to end the game.
Chattanooga was paced by sophomore Kylie Lambert's (Etowah, Tenn.) 11 points and nine rebounds, just missing the double-double. Dewart and sophomore Kayla Christopher (Oliver Springs, Tenn.) each had 10 points for UTC while Hood and Hall each chipped in eight. Hall had a game-high and career-best 11 rebounds. Chattanooga had 15 assists in the game with four from Christopher and Lambert and three from junior Tenisha Townsend (Antioch, Tenn.).
Chattanooga scored 12 points off 16 Mountaineer turnovers and gave up eight points on 14 miscues of its own. ASU outscored the Lady Mocs in the paint 32-16 and held a slight 12-11 advantage on bench points.
Anna Freeman, who left the game in the final minutes with five fouls, led all scorers with 14 points and had six boards, four assists, three blocked shots and two steals along with five turnovers. Sam Ramirez had 11 points, four steals and five rebounds. Kelsey Sharkey had a team-high 10 rebounds and six points.
Along with Dewart, Chattanooga bid farewell to senior managers Courtney Berg (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Ross Jolly (Sparta, Tenn.) and graduate assistant manager Michael Scruggs (Knoxville, Tenn.).
The Lady Mocs will be on the road for the remainder of the year with a visit to UNCG this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at Fleming Gymnasium. Listen to all the action live with the "Voice of the Lady Mocs" Larry Ward at the mic. Live stats will be available at the official website of Chattanooga athletics, GoMocs.com.
February 14, 2011