CULLOWHEE, N.C. --- University of Tennessee at Chattanooga juniors Kayla Christopher (Oliver Springs, Tenn.) and Kylie Lambert (Etowah, Tenn.) combined for 22 points to lead the Lady Mocs to a 54-40 win over Western Carolina Saturday in Southern Conference women's basketball action afternoon at the Ramsey Center.
Christopher scored nine of her game-high 12 points in the second half while Lambert got the scoring started early for Chattanooga with the Lady Mocs' first seven points. The win improves UTC to 19-7 overall and 14-3 in league play while the Catamounts fall to 11-15 on the year and 6-11 in the SoCon.
Western Carolina got the first bucket of the game, but a 3-pointer from Lambert gave Chattanooga the lead for good just 2:06 into the game. Her next four points came on free throws followed by a 3-pointer from sophomore Taylor Hall (New Tazewell, Tenn.) to give Chattanooga a 10-2 lead.
The Lady Mocs grew the lead up to 24-8 with 5:32 to play in the first, but the Cats' Rena Wakama sparked a 13-3 WCU run to cut Chattanooga's lead to 27-21 at intermission.
The second half started with the Lady Mocs jumping out to a 38-23 lead with 16:15 to play. Less than a minute later, WCU's Rena Wakama hit a layup to spark a 10-2 run over the next six minutes to cut Chattanooga's lead to 40-33.
That wouldn't last long as Chattanooga outscored Western Carolina 11-1 to take a 51-34 lead with 4:00 to play.
Christopher was 4-for-5 from the field with two 3-pointers and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. Lambert was the second Chattanooga player in double figures with 10 points on 2-of-5 shooting, two 3-pointers and was 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
Sophomore Alex Black (Memphis, Tenn.) had a game-high and career-best nine rebounds to go along with five points and three assists. Senior Tenisha Townsend (Antioch, Tenn.) pulled down seven rebounds, tying her career-high, and had two assists and a blocked shot. Sophomore Faith Dupree (Knoxville, Tenn.) had seven points and three rebounds while classmate Taylor Hall (New Tazewell, Tenn.) had five points, seven boards and a blocked shot.
Kaila'Shea Menendez had a team-high 11 points, five rebounds and three assists. Wakama was the only other Catamount in double figures with 10 points and three boards and Alex Abraham had five rebounds for WCU.
Chattanooga outrebounded the Catamounts 50-31 and had 10 points off 15 offensive rebounds compared to the Cats' two points off 10 offensive boards. Chattanooga shot 37.3 percent (19-of-51) for the game and was 7-of-20 (35%) from the 3-point line.
The Lady Mocs will travel to Birmingham Wednesday to take on Samford at the Pete Hannah Center. The game will tip at 8 p.m. Eastern Time and carried live on ESPN 105.1 "The Zone".