published Monday, January 6th, 2014

UTC women seek better effort against Davidson

  • photo
    UTC’s forward Taylor Hall (31) is fouled by Georgia Southern’s guard Angel McGowan at McKenzie Arena on Saturday. Hall and the Lady Mocs go up against Davidson Monday night at 7.
    Photo by C. B. Schmelter /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team was able to claim a 69-60 Southern Conference victory over Georgia Southern Saturday despite blowing an 18-point second half lead. They probably shouldn't try that again tonight.

The Mocs bring their 31-game home win streak back to McKenzie Arena tonight, with a game against Davidson (6-8), who like UTC sports a 3-0 mark in league action. The Lady Wildcats should present a tougher foe than the Eagles did, despite the fact that Davidson dresses only eight players. Yet, the bigger issue for the Mocs heading into their 7 p.m. tipoff is making sure that the effort remains consistent and throughout the entire game -- not just when they needed it, as was the case Saturday night.

"Coach [Jim] Foster wasn't happy with our effort," senior forward Taylor Hall said. "He expects more out of us, and we can feel it, too. We got a lead and got complacent with it. We started to relax, and you could see that on the defensive end especially, so I think we have to blame it on effort. We have to play hard like it is a tie game -- regardless of the score, and never give up. We shouldn't have lost that lead."

Offensive-minded Davidson ranks in the top-five in scoring, field-goal percentage, 3-point percentage and assists. Their average of 69.1 points per game is right behind UTC's 69.5. Davidson guard Laura Murray is second in the conference in scoring at 19.6 points per outing. The Lady Wildcats also have Hannah Early and Dakota Dukes, who also rank in the top-10 in that category.

The difference between the teams lies on the defensive end of the floor. The Mocs allow only 60.2 points per contest, while the Lady Wildcats allow almost 76 per game -- a number that has dipped to 69.3 points per game in league play.

It's a big reason that two things Foster preaches about offensively -- patience and effort -- will most likely be heard in practice leading up to tonight's game.

"When we move the ball, we're hard to guard," Foster said Saturday night, "but when we stand still and try to make plays we are very easy to guard. We have to understand what 40 minutes of basketball is all about."

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

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