AUBURN, Ala. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team fell 53-40 at Auburn Wednesday night, snapping a four-game win streak. The Lady Mocs are now 8-2 on the year and will return to action after the New Year. Auburn improves o 9-2 overall.
Chattanooga made just 15-of-55 field goals, its lowest for both makes and attempts this season, and was 4-of-31 (12.9%) from beyond the 3-point line. Junior Ashlen Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C.) and senior Kayla Christopher (Oliver Springs, Tenn.) combined for 24 of Chattanooga's 40 points. Dewart was 5-of-9 from the field and 3-of-3 from the free throw line for a team-high 13 points and had five rebounds in the effort. Christopher was 3-of-9 from beyond the arc and made both of her free throw attempts for 11 points. She moves to 20th place on the Lady Mocs all-time scoring charts with 1,086 career points.
Chattanooga's only lead of the game came early behind free throws from Christopher and a lay-in by junior Taylor Hall (New Tazewell, Tenn.) just less than two minutes into the contest. Auburn's Tyrese Tanner hit a jumper at the 17:55 mark and led Auburn on a 17-0 run over the next 6:39 for a 19-4 lead with less than half of the first period gone.
The Lady Mocs responded with a 9-2 run to get back to within eight points, 21-13, at the 4:53 mark of the half but the Tigers fought back with seven straight points to retake command of the game. Dewart hit a layup in the final minute and Auburn led UTC 28-15 at the break.
In the second half, the Lady Mocs cut Auburn's lead to seven points twice but couldn't get any closer. With UTC trailing 32-21 early in the latter period, sophomore Ka'Vonne Towns (Lilburn, Ga.) grabbed a defensive rebound off a missed Auburn free throw that led to a jumper from junior Meghan Downes (Newnan, Ga.) to cut the lead to 32-23 with 15:44 to play. Towns would then get a layup of her own at the 14:37 mark of the half to make it 32-25.
Auburn got the next five points to stretch the lead back out to 37-25 with 12:02 to play. The Lady Mocs answered with a 5-0 run by Dewart to cut it back to seven, 37-30, at the 11:04 mark, but the Tigers outscored UTC 14-5 over the next 7:34 to gain their largest lead of the game, 51-35 with 2:48 to play.
Chattanooga was outscored in the paint 24-16 and had eight second chance points off 13 offensive boards to the Tigers' 13 from 15 offensive rebounds. Auburn outrebounded Chattanooga 42-32. Hall had a team-high eight rebounds for the Lady Mocs and senior Kylie Lambert (Etowah, Tenn.) had seven. Lambert and Towns each had a team-best three assists while Christopher led UTC with three steals.
The Lady Mocs will take time off for the holiday before returning to prepare for their final non-conference contest. UTC will travel to Birmingham, Ala., to take on UAB on Jan. 2 in a midday game.