STATESBORO, Ga. - It wasn't the best of starts or the prettiest of halves, but the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team used a big second-half run to pull away from Georgia Southern for a 72-60 Southern Conference victory Monday night.
The Mocs (19-3, 11-0) used a 16-0 surge to beat the Eagles in the teams' final conference meeting, at least in a regular season. UTC senior Taylor Hall scored a career-high 25 points, becoming the 26th player in program history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark and moving into 24th on the all-time scoring list. She topped the milestone with a three-point play with 3:12 remaining and added 11 rebounds, four steals and three assists.
Hall did much of her damage at the free-throw line, hitting 11 for 12.
"I still missed quite a few shots, but late in the game they fouled me," Hall said on the radio broadcast. "I guess I can thank [Georgia Southern] for giving me some more opportunities."
Chelsey Shumpert added 13 points, while Ka'Vonne Towns was next for the Mocs with eight.
They trailed 30-28 at halftime but quickly tied the game at 32 on a putback by Aryanna Gilbert, then assumed control with the run over a span of 5:03, turning a one-point edge into a 55-38 advantage with 8:12 left.
The run kind of masked what had been an underwhelming performance up to that point. As a team, the Mocs finished with only six assists -- less than half their season average -- with only one of those coming in the first half. UTC did corral 13 offensive rebounds, shaking off a shooting performance in which they shot 41 percent for the game. They finished 18-for-20 at the foul line and scored 25 points off 18 Georgia Southern turnovers.
"We didn't play very hard. We were very individualistic in the first half," UTC coach Jim Foster said on the radio. "Georgia Southern has an interesting team in that they are .500 in this league and can cause problems because they have three guards shooting 40 percent from 3-point range and they have two big, strong post players that can cause some damage.
"We sort of have a tendency that we are not as good in the second game of a road trip. I addressed that in the locker room."
Anna Claire Knight had 19 points to lead the Eagles (7-15, 5-6), while Mimi Dubose and Briana Jones added 13 apiece.
UTC has a two-game home stand starting Saturday at 2 p.m. with a "Throwback Game" against Appalachian State at Maclellan Gymnasium.