BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball coach Wes Moore stressed the point at halftime Wednesday: Ashlen Dewart needs the ball more in the post.
Playing UAB at Bartow Arena in the Lady Mocs' final non-conference game, UTC trailed by five after an opening half in which it made 8 of 29 shots, including just 2-of-12 on 3-point attempts.
The Lady Mocs got the ball to Dewart to start the second half and the center delivered. She scored UTC's first eight points and paced UTC to a 66-57 win, finishing with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
"That was a good comeback and a good win," Moore said in a phone interview. "I thought Ashlen Dewart, in the second half, she really came through. ... I felt like she would be a hard matchup for them, and at halftime I told her she needed to step up some and I told the guards they needed to get it to her more."
It was Dewart's second double-double of the season and fifth game in eight starts for UTC (9-2) that she scored at least 21 points.
The Lady Mocs trailed 28-23 at the half and every time UTC pulled ahead early in the second half, the Blazers (9-4) answered. That changed when the game was tied at 42. Ka'Vonne Towns put UTC up 45-42 with a 3-pointer and the Lady Mocs remained in front.
A Dewart hook shot put UTC up 58-51 and Towns followed that with a long pass over UAB's press to Kylie Lambert for a layup and a 60-51 lead. Lambert played much of the second half with four fouls and finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Towns and Tatianna Jackson helped off the bench. Jackson went 9-for-11 from the free-throw line and scored 11 points, while Towns finished with eight points and three steals.
After struggling with its shots in the first half, UTC hit 52.0 percent of its attempts in the second, including 4 of 9 3-point shots, and led by Jackson, UTC went 13-for-17 at the line.
"It was good to have some other people step up like we did," Moore said.
The Lady Mocs return to Southern Conference play Saturday at UNC Greensboro.