After a long, tough set of road games, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team returns to campus with a bit of momentum and a solid start in the Southern Conference race.
Whitney Hood scored 16 points and Taylor Hall recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Lady Mocs to a 59-46 win at Elon on Saturday night. They had won their conference opener two nights earlier at UNC Greensboro.
UTC (4-3, 2-0) hasn't played at home since a season-opening win over UAB on Nov. 11. The Lady Mocs went 3-3 in a stretch that took them to Texas to face No. 1 Baylor, to Indiana State, to Mexico for games against Idaho State and Cincinnati and then to North Carolina for their SoCon wins.
In what is becoming a pattern this season, UTC struggled to start the game, falling behind 8-2 against a gritty Phoenix squad.
"It wasn't always pretty, but it's nice to get a pair of conference wins on the road," UTC coach Wes Moore said on the radio after the game. "It gets us off to a great start, and now we get to go home and hopefully get some momentum."
"You've got be mentally tough. We fell behind again but we battled back."
UTC struggled to score early, shooting just over 30 percent on field-goal attempts, and finished the game 21-of-66 from the floor.
However, the Lady Mocs defense kept the game in hand. Elon was limited to 8-of-28 on field-goal attempts in the first half and 17-of-60 for the game.
The Lady Mocs made their presence felt on the inside, out-rebounding Elon 52-39 with 10 rebounds each from Hall and Kylie Lambert.
"Our kids hung in there on the boards," Moore said. "Kylie did a good job going in and battling to get some big rebounds for us."
Elon (2-4, 0-1) was led by Ali Ford, who scored 16 points.
UTC will take more than a week off from competiton to focus on final exams before returning to McKenzie Arena to open a three-game homestand Dec. 12 with a game against Kennesaw State.