published Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Whitney Hood powers Lady Mocs

  • photo
    UTC's Whitney Hood gets ready to take a shot against Wofford's Daniella Motley Friday at McKenzie Arena.
    Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Whitney Hood scored a season-high 24 points and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team held off Wofford 74-67 on Friday night at McKenzie Arena.

The win was the Lady Mocs' 29th in a row against the Terriers, but it didn't come easily. UTC (11-4, 6-0 Southern Conference) tried to pull away a couple of times in the final five minutes, only to see Wofford (9-6, 2-4) make another push.

"I'm proud of the way our team fought to come back and end up with a 'W,'" Lady Mocs coach Wes Moore said, before stressing that UTC has to focus more attention on details. "Just little things. I think this team is talented, but we're going to have to do a better job paying attention to detail and getting the maximum out of the talent that we have."

Hood is typically double-teamed, but Wofford defended her one-on-one for most of the game. And that was fine with the 6-foot-2 senior.

Using more power moves and drives across the lane, Hood was as aggressive as she has been all season -- yet she also had a team-high four assists.

"They just let me go one-on-one, so I just took advantage of it," said Hood, who scored a career-high 40 against Wofford last January. "It's definitely a different feeling going one-on-one -- just go."

Wofford led 30-29 at halftime and the game was tied at 49 with 8:02 to play. Two Kylie Lambert free throws gave the Lady Mocs a lead they wouldn't relinquish, but the work wasn't done. Kayla Christopher (13 points) hit a big 3-pointer with 2:21 left to make it 63-54.

The Lady Mocs led 69-61 with 33 seconds left following a pair of Hood free throws -- she made 10 of 12 -- but Wofford was able to make the closing seconds interesting by cutting the lead to 70-67 with 14 seconds remaining.

Taylor Hall was fouled with 12 seconds left and the Lady Mocs sophomore forward hit two free throws, and then two more with two seconds left to seal the win. UTC was 21-for-27 from the line, while Wofford was 5-of-7.

The Lady Mocs were dominated 40-28 in points in the paint and Wofford had a 15-9 second-chance points advantage.

Hall and Lambert were the feisty Lady Mocs throughout the game. Hall finished with eight points and 13 rebounds, while Lambert, who seemed to dive on the floor every other minute, scored nine and had nine rebounds (five offensive).

"[You get sore diving for balls] but it's something that we have to fight through and get ready for the next game," Lambert said.

Because Appalachian State (5-0 SoCon) didn't play Friday, UTC is at least temporarily alone in first place heading into Sunday's game against Furman.

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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