GREENVILLE, S.C. – The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s basketball team had four players in double figures in a 71-54 win at Furman. The win clinched the Southern Conference title for UTC, the first under Hall of Fame coach Jim Foster in his first season. Davidson fell to Georgia Southern 90-82 at Davidson.
Senior Taylor Hall (New Tazewell, Tenn.) scored a game-high 19 points and was joined in double figures by senior Ashlen Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C.) with 12 while senior Alex Black (Memphis, Tenn.) added 11 as did freshman Jasmine Joyner (Southaven, Miss.), a career-high. Hall and Dewart each added eight rebounds in the winning effort.
UTC started the game on a slow note letting the Paladins get out to a 9-2 start over the first 4:48 of the game. Black went 3-of-4 from the free throw line and Hall followed with the first of her two 3-pointers to cut the lead to 11-8 at the 14:52 mark of the opening stanza.
After a made shot by Furman’s Brittany Hodges, UTC went on an 11-2 run to take its largest lead of the first half 19-13 with 10:11 on the clock. Furman would battle back, however, and retake the lead, 20-19, on a 3-pointer from Allison Beasley with 7:59 to go in the first.
Chattanooga outscored the Paladins 12-8 over the final seven minutes and carried a 31-28 lead into the locker room at intermission.
The second half saw Chattanooga pull away slowly and eventually get out front by double-digits in the final minutes. The scored bounced back-and-forth with 10 lead changes over the first 5:55 of the second half before UTC began to pull away. Hall hit a jumper with 12:47 to play to give UTC a 48-43 lead.
Furman cut the lead to one on a 3-pointer from Holli Wilkins who had a team-high 15 points, and a free throw from Whitney Bunn. Hall and Dewart combined on UTC’s next four points to stretch the lead back to five at 52-47 with 10:29 to play. The Mocs finished out the game with a 19-7 advantage for the final 71-54 margin. UTC held Furman scoreless over the final 6:05 for the win.
Hall scored 13 of her points in the second half and pulled down all of her eight rebounds in the closing period. She had 19 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Joyner hit a career-high 11 points and added five rebounds and four blocked shots and has a team-high 30 on the year.
Dewart added 12 points on 5-of-10 from the field and eight rebounds. Black started the game making 5-of-6 from the free throw line and closed out with 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field.
Chattanooga improves to 22-3 on the year and 14-0 in league play clinching its 18th Southern Conference title since 1984. Furman falls to 13-11 overall and 7-5 in conference action.
The Mocs travel to Spartanburg, S.C., for a Monday night matchup at Wofford. The game is set to tip off at 6 p.m. and will be available on ESPN3.com. Fans can listen LIVE to Larry Ward on ESPN 105.1 FM “The Zone”.