Bench busy as Lady Mocs roll

Bench busy as Lady Mocs roll

December 16th, 2011 by John Frierson in Sports - College

Wes Moore wants his University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team to have a more productive bench this season. The Lady Mocs coach had plenty of time to see what the reserves could do Thursday night at McKenzie Arena.

In UTC's 75-42 rout of Belmont, all 14 Lady Mocs played and 13 scored at least a point. The UTC bench outscored the Bruins' 29-5.

"This was a good team win," Moore said. "It seemed like everybody that went in did something to contribute and could feel good about what they're doing out there."

Taylor Hall had 13 points and five rebounds in the Lady Mocs' fourth straight win. Kylie Lambert added 11 points and eight rebounds and Kayla Christopher had 10 points for UTC (6-3).

The win was UTC's fourth in a row by double figures and fourth straight game holding its opponent to 46 points or less -- a program first.

"It's very nice -- I think we're getting it now," said senior forward Whitney Hood, who had nine points and eight rebounds in only 23 minutes of action. "We're buying in to what Coach Moore is saying, and we're playing together and playing hard."

It's not the old days of a few seasons ago when UTC (6-3) dominated the Southern Conference and routed most of the teams on its schedule, but the recent run has been nice for the players.

"It's fun, but we've got a long season ahead," Hood said.

UTC and Belmont (2-9) played a nail-biter last season in Nashville -- UTC won 66-61 -- but Thursday's game was in the Lady Mocs' control by the middle of the opening half. The Lady Mocs led 12-10 before going on a 15-2 run, capped by a Tenisha Townsend 3-pointer that made it 27-12 with 6:08 to play in the first half.

The Lady Mocs didn't score in the final 5:18 of the half yet still led 29-18 at the break.

A strong start to the second half put the game away for good and allowed Moore to send in the subs. UTC true freshman Ka'Vonne Towns played eight minutes and hit two 3-pointers for a career-high six points.

"It's making me feel a lot more comfortable," Towns said of her increased minutes, "just coming off the bench and having a lot more energy."

Belmont senior Cacy Burtnett, who played at Cleveland High School, had one point and five rebounds. Center Haley Nelson scored a game-high 20 points and blocked three shots.

The Lady Mocs, 2-0 in the SoCon, return to league play Monday when they host Western Carolina (4-5, 0-2).