published Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Downes leads UTC past ETSU

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- Alex Black had her breakout game for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team on Monday. It was fellow sophomore Meghan Downes' turn Thursday.

Downes scored a career-high 19 points in UTC's 88-80 win over former Southern Conference rival East Tennessee State at the MSHA Athletic Center.

"We wouldn't have won this game without Meghan Downes -- she hit some big shots," said coach Wes Moore, whose Lady Mocs (8-3) won their sixth game in a row and went 6-0 in December.

The Lady Mocs, who shot 65.4 percent from the field in the second half, needed everything they got from Downes and the rest of the team. After trailing 64-54 with 9:31 to play, the Lady Bucs (1-11) closed the gap and tied the game at 72 with 2:57 to go.

"They're the best 1-11 team I've ever seen," Moore said.

Whitney Hood scored inside, Kayla Christopher hit a 3-pointer and Downes made a jump shot to put UTC up 79-74 with 1:35 left. Christopher added a pair of free throws with 52 seconds left to give UTC some breathing room.

Downes, whose previous high was 10 points, scored 16 in the second half and finished the game 7-of-11 from the field and 4-for-6 on 3s, in 18 minutes.

Hood had 17 points and five rebounds, Christopher and Kylie Lambert scored 13 points apiece and Black added 10 after scoring a career-high 15 against Western Carolina on Monday. Hood made nine of nine free throws, and Christopher went 8-for-8.

Taylor Hall, who lost part of a front tooth in the game, had eight points and 11 rebounds.

Lady Bucs junior forward Tosha Austin, who's from Chattanooga, had nine rebounds with six points. Gwen Washington led ETSU with 18 points.

The Lady Mocs will reconvene in Chattanooga on Dec. 29, and they wrap up their nonconference schedule on Jan. 3 at sixth-ranked Tennessee.

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