Wes Moore wanted to see defense from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team Saturday night at McKenzie Arena: intense, aggressive defense.
The Lady Mocs' coach got that, at least in several effective stretches, in a 75-43 Southern Conference win against Georgia Southern.
"We came out with a lot of energy -- I liked that -- [and were] flying around on defense," he said after UTC's 19th consecutive win at the Roundhouse. "Pretty much everyone who came in the game had that same kind of adrenaline."
It has been a tough past seven days for Moore, who has battled the flu and walking pneumonia, as well as the memories of UTC's 70-60 overtime loss at Elon last Monday. Beating the Eagles didn't make him all better, but seeing the Lady Mocs (11-3, 4-1) get 12 steals and force 24 turnovers certainly helped.
"Monday's loss made me feel a whole lot worse physically, and tonight's win will hopefully have the reverse effect," said Moore, who credited his staff with picking up the slack for a few days while he was at his worst.
Playing at home for the first time in a month, in front of 2,183, UTC's trap defense forced GSU (2-13, 1-5) to use a timeout 50 seconds into the game, and a tone was set. By the time the Lady Mocs led 16-7, six of them had scored and they had hit 7 of 10 shots from the field. Georgia Southern, meanwhile, made just three of its first 15 shots.
The Lady Mocs led 35-23 at halftime, but Georgia Southern that started the second with a spurt. A long MiMi DuBose 3-pointer to beat the shot clock fell through and cut UTC's lead to 41-33 with 14:41 remaining.
UTC answered with a 27-3 run in the next 12 minutes. Taylor Hall took over during part of the run and finished with a game-high 16 points, plus seven rebounds and two steals. Ashlen Dewart added 14 points in just 15 minutes and Kylie Lambert had another busy game with eight points and 10 rebounds.
"Coach Moore wanted us to pressure them a lot more and make them uncomfortable and force turnovers," Lambert said. "I feel like we did a really good job with that."
Six Lady Mocs scored at least eight points and UTC shot 46.7 percent from the field and had a 45-31 rebounding advantage. Jordi Cook, from Tunnel Hill, Ga., had five points for the Eagles.
The Lady Mocs host the College of Charleston at 7 p.m. Monday. The Cougars (7-7, 3-2) fell 56-47 at Samford on Saturday.
John Frierson is in his fifth year at the Times Free Press and fifth 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 ...