The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team moved into first place in the Southern Conference on Friday night with a 60-56 win at Davidson, which came into the game undefeated in league play.
UTC withstood a late Wildcats rally and some trouble at the free-throw line. Davidson (8-8, 5-1) cut what had been a 12-point lead to one, 55-54, with 1:38 left, but the Lady Mocs (13-3, 6-1) held on for the win.
Kylie Lambert and Kayla Christopher led UTC with 12 points each, and Alex Black added 11 and six rebounds.
Center Faith Dupree returned to the court after missing two months with a knee injury. Looking for her shot early in the game, she needed less than two minutes to score eight points. Dupree finished with 11 points in 14 minutes.
"I did get a little bit of an adrenaline rush there at the beginning," she said in a phone interview. "I was excited to get back, and we weren't really doing much at that point. I'm glad I could give us a spark."
Cleared by her doctor last week, Dupree said she found out after practice Wednesday that she would play Friday -- her first game since Nov. 17. She said the big test of her knee would be how she felt late Friday night and today.
Davidson had a chance to take the lead, and spoil Dupree's return, with 50 seconds left when Katrin Chiemeka was fouled by Black -- but she missed both free throws. Christopher rebounded the second miss and was fouled and made one of two shots for a 56-54 lead.
Black was fouled after rebounding a missed Chiemeka 3 and also made one of two. UTC got the rebound after the miss, and Lambert scored to make it 59-54 with seven seconds remaining.
"That was a really good win," UTC coach Wes Moore said. "It was touch-and-go there at the end ... it was nail-biting time again. We hit just enough free throws down the stretch to hold it off."
UTC finished 9-for-14 from the line but was 3-for-6 in the final minute. The Lady Mocs will play the second game of a three-game road trip Sunday at Western Carolina (4-10, 2-3).