In a series dominated by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Wofford made the Lady Mocs sweat more than usual Saturday at McKenzie Arena.
The shooting was lousy for both teams, and each side had more turnovers than field goals, but UTC made enough plays in the closing minutes for a 57-46 Southern Conference win, their 23rd straight in the series.
It was a frustrating end to a difficult day for Lady Mocs coach Wes Moore, whose friend and former boss, North Carolina State coach Kay Yow, died Saturday morning after a two-decade-long battle with breast cancer.
"I don't think I would be here right now if it weren't for Coach Yow," said Moore, who was a Wolfpack assistant from 1993 to '95. "I was a Division III coach (at Maryville) and I don't think many of those get opportunities to jump to the Division I level as an assistant coach. She gave me that opportunity."
Moore said he talked with Yow about a month ago, and when she left the team recently because of her condition, he knew things had taken a turn for the worse because "it would take a whole lot for her to step away from that."
"Part of you is saddened by it; selfishly, you'd love for her to still be around. Part of you, though, knows that she's in a better place," he said.
His Lady Mocs (14-6, 10-1) kept pace with Samford and remained tied for first place, but UTC did not look like a championship contender against Wofford (3-15, 1-9).
The last time the two teams played a close game was in the 2002 SoCon tournament, when the Lady Mocs won by four in overtime. Since then, the closest margin was 18 points, until Saturday.
The Lady Mocs led 18-5 with 9:38 to play in the opening half, following back-to-back 3-pointers by Tenisha Townsend and Erin Ogan, and were 4-for-8 on 3s at that point. But UTC went 1-for-12 from beyond the arc the rest of the game.
Wofford stayed close by taking advantage of a multitude of miscues by the Lady Mocs. Led by Kelly Dwyer's five, Wofford had 17 steals and UTC finished with 27 turnovers, including 10 by Jenaya Wade-Fray, who also had nine points and nine rebounds.
LaCondra Mason had 13 points and nine rebounds and hit three free throws in the final minute to help seal the win. Shanara Hollinquest also scored 13 points, to go along with six rebounds.
Mason said UTC's problems scoring - the Lady Mocs shot 35.8 percent (19-for-53) from the floor - and taking care of the ball were due only in part to Wofford's aggressive defense.
"We have to realize that people are going to come out ready to play against us every game, so we've got to come out and be more focused," said Mason, who scored 11 points in the second half.
The Lady Mocs led 26-19 at the half and had their largest lead, 44-29, with 9:13 remaining. But they couldn't protect the ball well enough to close the door on the Terriers, who cut the lead to four twice in the closing minutes.
"It was ugly. It wasn't our best game - Wofford got after us and they played well - but we came out with the win," said Ogan, who had 12 points, eight rebounds and five of UTC's 12 steals.
Natalie Gramblin scored 15 points for Wofford, which shot 28.4 percent (19-for-67) from the field and had 20 turnovers. The Lady Mocs host Furman on Monday.