Kayla Christopher moved into a tie for second place on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball program's all-time 3-pointers list Monday. She hit five 3s against UNC Greensboro, and the Lady Mocs needed all of them.
Southern Conference-leading UTC was in a real struggle with a UNCG squad that has won five games all season. Christopher hit three of her 3s during a 14-0 run that carried the Lady Mocs to a 74-68 win.
"It was a big stretch for us," said the senior, who led UTC with 20 points and five assists. "We were down a few at that point, so it was big for us to step up and knock down some shots. We knew we could get back into it, but I think that just gave us confidence to finish it out."
As for joining Katasha Brown with 216 career 3s -- 99 behind Brooke Hand's record -- Christopher said she's happy to be in their company.
"Just to even be mentioned with those names is pretty cool," she said.
UTC (24-3, 13-1) stretched its win streak to 11 and earned its 24th straight win at McKenzie Arena. It had to work to do it against UNC Greensboro (5-18, 2-12), which upset Samford on Saturday and came out ready to play.
"[Defensively] they made it real hard for us to run our stuff," said UTC coach Wes Moore, who earned career win No. 350 at UTC and No. 550 overall.
Ashlen Dewart fought through a steady swarm of Spartans to finish with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Getting banged around is something she's having to deal with more lately.
"I think the past few games have been a lot more physical than they were at the beginning of the season, but it's just something you have to adjust to and be tougher down inside," she said.
Tatianna Jackson made her first career start -- Moore wanted to rest Kylie Lambert (shin splints) -- and finished with 11 points, eight rebounds (five offensive) and four assists.
Fellow freshman Alicia Payne had four steals and four assists. Her only points came on a 3-pointer -- she was 0-for-13 at UTC before connecting -- that put the Lady Mocs up 62-50, capping the 14-0 run.
"She's maturing right before our eyes," Moore said of Payne, "and Tatianna, we knew in the recruiting process she'd be a great player here."
Jessica Collins went 4-for-4 from 3-point range to help UNCG to a 32-31 lead going into halftime. UTC trailed 43-37 with 13:47 to play and the margin was 50-48 with 10:02 left. That's when the 14-0 run began, starting with three straight Christopher 3s.
Collins led all scorers with 21 points.