Lady Mocs win 81-39 over Western

Lady Mocs win 81-39 over Western

February 24th, 2013 by John Frierson in Sports - College

Tatiana Jackson of UTC scores against Western Carolina at McKenzie Arena Saturday night. The Lady Mocs beat Western Carolina 81-39.

Photo by Jay Bailey/Times Free Press.

Forty minutes at McKenzie Arena doesn't go much better than the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team's 81-39 destruction of Western Carolina on Saturday.

"You couldn't ask for a better day," said UTC's Kayla Christopher, who hit three 3-point shots and scored 15 points.

After being down 5-4 early, the Southern Conference-leading Lady Mocs (24-3, 17-1) went on a 21-0 run. They were up by 30 at halftime, giving the crowd of 2,763 plenty to applaud, and the second half was little more than a formality.

"We had a lot of people play well and contribute," a relaxed-looking UTC coach Wes Moore said afterward.

Seniors Christopher and Kylie Lambert were honored before the game. They will play their final game at the Roundhouse on Monday, against second-place Davidson (18-9, 15-2). With a win, UTC will clinch the SoCon regular-season title outright.

The Lady Mocs stretched their overall win streak to 14 games and their run at McKenzie Arena to 25 in a row, tying the school record. UTC's home streak is second in Division I, behind Baylor's 54-game streak.

UTC's streak was never in doubt Saturday against the Catamounts (7-19, 5-12). UTC did trail 5-4 at the 14:17 mark of the first half but took total control with the 21-0 run. Faith Dupree came in off the bench and scored nine points during the spurt.

"I liked the fact that we were able to get going transition-wise and were able to push tempo and get some open looks," Moore said. "Twenty assists and nine turnovers, I was real pleased to see that."

The lead was 41-11 at halftime. Appalachian State had a 27-11 lead against the Catamounts on Monday.

UTC hit 18 of 34 shots and outrebounded WCU 27-9 in the first 20 minutes. UTC's Taylor Hall had a game-high 10 rebounds.

The final 20 minutes mostly involved both teams' benches. For the game, UTC's bench outscored the Catamounts' 45-21. Meghan Downes scored 13 off the bench. In the second half, she was fouled on a 3-pointer and made the first two free throws. Destiny Bramblett rebounded the miss and Downes hit a 3 from the left wing, putting UTC up 72-26 with 6:54 to play.

"The energy from the team kind of helps me get going," Downes said.

Ashlen Dewart played only 19 minutes and her streak of double-doubles ended at three in a row with 12 points and nine rebounds. The Lady Mocs were without Ka'Vonne Towns, who had a death in her family.