published Sunday, February 19th, 2012

UTC Lady Mocs rule boards in win

CULLOWHEE, N.C. -- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team had five players with at least five rebounds Saturday at the Ramsey Center.

The Lady Mocs dominated the glass in their 54-40 Southern Conference win over Western Carolina, outrebounding the Catamounts 50-31.

Backup point guard Alex Black, who stands 5-foot-8, had a game-high nine rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench. Starting point guard Tenisha Townsend, who is 5-6, had seven rebounds.

"That was definitely the key to it, our rebounding," UTC coach Wes Moore said. "Our point guards did a great job of going in there and cleaning up. Obviously a part of that was our other players doing a good job of boxing out, which left the point guards free to go in there."

Moore is a win away from his 12th 20-win season at UTC. The Lady Mocs (19-7, 14-3) are back on the road Wednesday, at Samford. Thanks to Davidson beating Appalachian State on Saturday, UTC is now only a game out of first place with three games remaining. Davidson and App State are tied atop the standings with 15-2 records, and both teams still have to play at UTC.

Kayla Christopher scored UTC's final five points and had a game-high 12 points. Kylie Lambert scored 10.

The Lady Mocs used a 10-0 run to jump to a 10-2 lead. They built a 24-8 advantage with 5:32 left in the first half before the Catamounts, who hit just three of their first 19 shots, got going offensively.

Western Carolina (11-15, 6-10) hit three 3s in the final 5:13 and was able to close the gap to 27-21 thanks to a 13-3 run before halftime.

The Lady Mocs came out strong to start the second half, getting baskets from four players in an 11-2 spurt that put them up 38-23 with 16:15 remaining. But after Whitney Hood scored at the 16:15 mark, UTC didn't score again until a Faith Dupree jump shot with 10:28 to go.

Western Carolina cut the lead to 40-33 with 9:38 remaining, but UTC answered with a 9-0 run that put the game away for good.

WCU held its opponent below 60 points for the sixth straight game but was unable to win a fifth game in a row. Kaila'Shea Menendez led the Catamounts with 11 points.

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