Just hours after moving up to No. 20 in the latest Associated Press women's Top 25, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's baskeball team rolled to an easy 66-41 Southern Conference win Monday night at Western Carolina.
The Mocs (23-3, 11-0) dominated the first half, building a 35-11 halftime lead and holding the Catamounts to the lowest first-half points total for a UTC opponent this season. With the game well in hand, UTC backed off the pressure in the second half and cruised to an easy and quick win, getting back on the road early for the trip home through the mountains on a cold and wet night.
"I think we did well the whole game," UTC coach Jim Foster said on the postgame radio broadcast. "I think offensively we executed. We shot a better percentage in the first half than we did in the second half, didn't turn the ball over. I just thought we did a very good job offensively for 40 minutes, and defensively we pulled back our pressure and went to half-court defense.
"I just think we played a sound, solid game."
Two days after not getting a single block in UTC's win over UNC Greensboro on Saturday, sophomore post player Jasmine Joyner had six blocks against the Catamounts to take over second place in the SoCon record books for blocks in a single season. She also led the Mocs in scoring with 18 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field.
"I feel like I haven't blocked a shot in years, to be honest, she said. "I'm trying to stay out of foul trouble and do that for my team.
"My teammates help me to stay disciplined. I'm just trying to stay in the game and stay disciplined with my blocks."
Joyner was joined in double figures by Chelsey Shumpert with 13 points and Keiana Gilbert with 10. The Mocs shot 50.8 percent from the field while holding WCU to 32.6 percent field-goal shooting.
UTC senior Ka'Vonne Towns led the team with eight rebounds, and junior guard Alicia "Red" Payne had a team-best eight assists as well as five steals and five rebounds.
UTC will be back in action Saturday at Birmingham, Ala., taking on Samford at 3 p.m. EST.
Contact Jim Tanner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6478. follow him at twitter.com/JFTanner.