CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- After a month on the road, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team returned to McKenzie Arena and a crowd of 2,183 fans, to put together a decisive 75-43 Southern Conference win against Georgia Southern Saturday night.
Junior forwards Taylor Hall (New Tazewell, Tenn.) and Ashlen Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C.) combined for 30 points while senior Kylie Lambert (Etowah, Tenn.) pulled down a season-high-tying 10 rebounds in the win. Chattanooga improves to 11-3 overall and 4-1 in SoCon play while the Eagles fall to 2-13 on the year and 1-5 in league action.
Chattanooga used a 27-3 second half run to pull away. The Eagles, on a 3-pointer from MiMi DuBose, got to its closest of the second half at 41-33 with 14:41 to play. Sophomore Ka'Vonne Towns (Lilburn, Ga.) hit one of two free throws to kick off the run that saw scoring from six different Chattanooga players. Hall scored 10 of her game-high 16 points in the run while junior Destiny Bramblett (Radcliff, Ky.) scored seven of her season-high tying eight points.
Chattanooga led 35-23 at halftime and outscored Georgia Southern 40-20 in the second period. The Lady Mocs were 28-of-60 (46.7%) from the field and 5-of-18 from the 3-point line with senior Kayla Christopher (Oliver Springs, Tenn.) draining two in the opening stanza.
The Eagles shot 32.7% (16-of-49) for the game and made 7-of-18 from beyond the arc led by DuBose's 3-of-5 effort from the arc.
Chattanooga started the game with a 12-3 run and led by as much as 18 points in the opening period. Dewart led the Lady Mocs in the first half with 12 points in 11 minutes but sat the bench most of the second with foul trouble. Christopher scored all eight of her points in the first half and was 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.
Christopher hit a 3-pointer with 7:36 to play in the first half to spark a 9-2 Chattanooga run capped off by four points from Dewart to put the Lady Mocs up 33-15 with 3:25 to play in the half before the Eagles cut it to 12 points at the break.
Georgia Southern started the second half outscoring UTC 7-4 to make it a nine-point game, 39-30, and got to within eight points, 41-33, before Chattanooga put together a rally-squashing 27-3 run to take complete control of the game.
Chattanooga forced 17 second half turnovers, 24 for the game, and outscored the Eagles 22-3 on turnovers in the latter stanza. Chattanooga's bench contributed 29 points to GSU's seven and was led by Bramblett and junior Meghan Downes (Newnan, Ga.) with eight apiece.
The Lady Mocs dominated in the paint 32-14 and had 18 second chance points off 17 offensive rebounds. Chattanooga outrebounded the Eagles 45-31 and led wire-to-wire and dished out 19 assists, one shy of its season-best 20 at UNCG on Jan. 5 on the road.
Hall had a game-high 16 points making 7-of-12 from the field and pulled down seven rebounds with two assists and two steals. Dewart had 14 points for UTC, her 12th in double figures, in just 15 minutes of play. Christopher had eight points, three rebounds and three assists while Lambert grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with eight points and two assists. Towns had six points, four rebounds, three assists and a career-high two blocked shots with a steal. Freshman Alicia Payne (Memphis, Tenn.) dished out a game-high tying four assists and classmate Tatianna Jackson (Atlanta, Ga.) had four points, four rebounds, an assist, a steal and a blocked shot.
Georgia Southern was led by DuBose's 13 points and four assists. Meredyth Frye had eight points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals and a pair of blocked shots. Aishya Wofford pulled down a team-high seven rebounds and Sierra Kirkland had five boards.
Chattanooga remains at home to take on the College of Charleston Monday night. The game is set to tip off at 7 p.m. Tickets are available through the McKenzie Arena box office at 423-266-6627 (MOCS) or online at GoMocs.com. Live stats and video streaming is available for those who can't make the game and Larry Ward, the "Voice of the Lady Mocs" will have all the action live starting at 6:40 p.m. on ESPN 105.1 FM.