The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team doesn't have to knock down a bunch of 3-pointers to win games. But it helps.
UTC (8-2) has won on cold shooting nights from long range, like against Wofford (4-for-15) and Jacksonville State (6-for-33). But in the Lady Mocs' two losses, at St. Mary's and at Auburn, they were a combined 17-of-69 from beyond the arc.
The Lady Mocs, who return to the court today at UAB (9-3) for the first time since the 53-40 loss at Auburn on Dec. 19, have struggled with all of their shots the past two games. They went 34.2 percent from the field against JSU and made only 27.3 percent of their shots versus the Tigers.
"We need to shoot the ball well," UTC coach Wes Moore said. "We haven't shot the ball well the past two games. Against Jacksonville State here at home, we were able to escape, but between it and the Auburn game we need to get back on track shooting the ball a little better."
Moore said UTC's first offensive option is to get the ball inside to center Ashlen Dewart, who has scored at least 21 points four times in the past seven games. However, the Lady Mocs need to make outside shots to open things inside. And that means they have to keep shooting, even when shots aren't falling.
"I don't think you change. We want to go inside. We realize that Ashlen is a very effective scorer," Moore said. "Auburn, maybe we could have gotten it inside a little more, but it's tough. At some point against a zone, you've got to hit some [outside] shots."
Guard Kayla Christopher, who has hit 41.8 percent of her 3s this season, third best in the Southern Conference, said the Lady Mocs need to find ways to win regardless of shooting percentages.
"Coach Moore always says we want to be a good team, even when we don't shoot well," Christopher said. "Hopefully we can define ourselves by defense and rebounding, so then maybe we have a bad shooting game here and there, but we don't want it to define us."
After wrapping up nonconference play today, UTC resumes its SoCon schedule Saturday at UNC Greensboro.