published Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

UTC women start hot, roll past Davidson

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    University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Mocs Women's Basketball head coach Jim Foster.
    Photo by C. B. Schmelter /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

DAVIDSON, N.C. — The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team used a hot-shooting first half to build a double-digit advantage and cruised to a 76-62 win over Davidson in an important Southern Conference game Saturday.

The win was the 14th straight for the Mocs (18-3, 10-0) and 26th consecutive in conference play and gives them a three-game advantage over the Wildcats. There wasn't much doubt, as UTC shot 50 percent from the field in the first half.

The Mocs held Davidson to seven points below its scoring average and dominated the hustle stats: UTC scored 18 points off 12 turnovers and had 11 fastbreak points, 16 offensive rebounds leading to 17 second-chance points and 25 points from its bench. The Mocs led 43-25 at halftime and later built the margin to 22 against a team they defeated with a late rally four weeks ago in Chattanooga.

"I think we have a lot of players who are capable of doing certain things very well and playing within the framework of who you are and understanding who you are," UTC coach Jim Foster said on the postgame radio broadcast. "If your offense is running the way it should and the ball is moving and we know when a shot is going to take place, we are going to get a large number of rebounds -- or not, depending on how we shoot the ball. I think today was an example of that. When the ball moved, we moved."

Taylor Hall had a team-high 17 points, which places her 17 points away from 1,000 in her career. She added nine rebounds. Alex Black scored 16 and was 4-for-5 from 3-point range, while Chelsey Shumpert had a solid all-around game with eight points, six rebounds and five assists.

UTC got some solid contributions from the center position, although it wasn't from the usual suspects. Ashlen Dewart battled foul trouble throughout, finishing with six points and a pair of rebounds, while Faith Dupree played only five minutes before an ankle injury sidelined her the rest of the game.

Freshman Jasmine Joyner played a career-high 24 minutes and contributed seven points, eight rebounds and seven blocked shot. The blocks tied a school record reached twice by Alex Anderson.

Laura Murray scored 26 points for Davidson (10-11, 7-3), while Shneeka Center added 10 points and six rebounds.

UTC plays Monday in Statesboro for the final time, facing Georgia Southern at 7 p.m.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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