published Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Lady Mocs endure first SoCon defeat

BOONE, N.C. -- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team suffered its first Southern Conference loss of the season Saturday night at the Holmes Center.

Appalachian State surged in front early in the second half after trailing by a point at the break and won 62-51.

Rebounding had been a strength for UTC (13-5, 8-1) for most of the season, but not Saturday. Appalachian State (13-3, 7-1) dominated the glass, out-rebounding the Lady Mocs 48-25, with 19 offensive rebounds.

"They were a lot more aggressive and tougher than we were," UTC coach Wes Moore said.

UTC got off to a strong start and led 23-13 with 11:55 to play following a four-point play by Meghan Downs, who was fouled on a 3-pointer.

An Alex Black jump shot put UTC up 25-16 with 10:54 left, but the Lady Mocs then went nearly seven minutes without scoring. They led 29-28 at halftime, but Appalachian State came out strong in the second to take control of the game. A 13-3 run to start the half put ASU in front 41-32.

UTC cut the margin to 52-47 with two Whitney Hood free throws with 2:54 remaining, but that was as close as the visitors got the rest of the way.

Hood led UTC with 12 points. Downes and Kayla Christopher each scored nine.

More than half of the Lady Mocs' second-half shots were from 3-point range -- they were 5-of-26 on 3s for the game -- and Moore said he should have made sure the ball went down low to Hood more often.

"Instead of playing inside-out, we were playing outside-out," he said.

Appalachian State claimed the SoCon title last season, ending UTC's run of 11 straight championships. The Mountaineers swept the Lady Mocs last season, ending a 26-game losing streak in the series.

The Lady Mocs face another tough road test Monday night at Davidson (11-7, 7-2). The Wildcats fell at home to Samford on Saturday, 73-65.

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