Kylie Lambert sometimes comes up with a big scoring night, like her 18-point performance in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga win against Portland State on Nov. 23. But the Lady Mocs' senior wing gets a bigger kick out of filling up a box score.
"Personally, I feel like my game is more doing the little things and doing the dirty work," Lambert said. "I have a lot of fun with that and getting people shots."
Lambert's scoring is down a little from last season, but her other numbers, especially steals, are as good as or higher than they've ever been. She averaged 8.6 points per game as a junior and is averaging 6.5 heading into tonight's Southern Conference game against Georgia Southern (2-12, 1-4) at McKenzie Arena.
The Lady Mocs (10-3, 3-1) are playing in the Roundhouse for the first time since Dec. 12.
"I like to rebound and I like to steal and get it going," Lambert said. "I think scoring will come. I've always been told that your offense will feed off your defense, so that's what I like to do."
She had 19 steals as a freshman averaging 15 minutes a game off the bench. As a sophomore starter she had 24 thefts, and last season she had 22.
When the Lady Mocs this season switched to a more aggressive, "push" defense -- "That's where you just get in their grill," Lambert said -- it created more opportunities to force turnovers.
In 13 games this season, she already has 26 steals -- two more than her previous season high. She had a career-high seven in the Lady Mocs' overtime loss at Elon on Monday.
That game in some ways epitomized the player the former McMinn Central star has become. In 37 minutes, Lambert had eight points, seven rebounds, seven steals and six assists. She's first on the team in steals (2.0 per game), second in rebounding (6.2), second in assists (2.5) and fifth in scoring.
"Kylie's effort has never been a question," UTC coach Wes Moore said.
The Eagles' opponents have amassed 142 steals in 14 games so far this season -- GSU averages 20 turnovers a game -- so Lambert and the Lady Mocs might be able to feed off their defense again tonight.
Contact John Frierson at email@example.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.