The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has relied heavily on center Ashlen Dewart this season. Since Faith Dupree went down with a knee injury on Nov. 17, the 6-foot-3 Dewart has been the Lady Mocs' only "big."
Dewart as answered the call with six games of at least 20 points. She's led UTC in scoring in eight of the last 10 games and four times she has led the Lady Mocs in scoring and rebounding. She enters tonight's game against the College of Charleston second in the Southern Conference in scoring at 16.1 points per game.
UTC (11-3, 4-1 SoCon) showed in its 75-43 win against Georgia Southern on Saturday that the Lady Mocs' version of small ball, which it uses when Dewart is out of the game, is also effective. Dewart scored 14 points in 15 minutes of action.
"Whenever we have the smaller lineup," the 6-1 Taylor Hall said, "that's the time to pick up the intensity on defense and get after it and try to make things happen."
Hall flourished when she was at the No. 5 spot Saturday, finishing with 16 points, and seven rebounds, with two steals and two assists. Hall said she's still adjusting to playing center.
With Dewart on the bench for most of the second half, Hall scored 14 of her 16 points in 13 second-half minutes.
"It was good to see Taylor have a good second half," UTC coach Wes Moore said.
UTC played more of the small ball against Georgia Southern because the Eagles' lack of post size worked in the Lady Mocs favor. Along with Hall, UTC was able to use Ka'Vonne Towns, Kayla Freeman and Destiny Bramblett (they combined for 16 points) some down low, getting out of UTC's typical four-out, one-in offensive system.
The Cougars (7-7, 3-2) have some size, including 6-3 center Latisha Harris, but going small again tonight might also work in UTC's favor.
"Taylor can do an excellent job of posting up and scoring down there," Moore said. "She doesn't really get excited about it, I don't think. ... We can go small and it makes it harder for them to sometimes match up with us."
UTC should again have two 6-3 post players soon because Moore said Dupree is expected to return by the end of the month.