Staff Photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press Lady Mocs' Whitney Hood drives between Davidson's Amanda Ottaway (33) and Sarah Davis in first half action at McKenzie Arena Saturday.
It took a Bailey Dewart buzzer-beater for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team to knock off Davidson earlier this season.
Not so on Saturday, though Dewart again was a difference-maker.
The Lady Mocs earned their fifth Southern Conference win in six games, leading wire to wire in a 91-70 thumping of the Wildcats in front of 2,204 at McKenzie Arena.
UTC (13-12, 10-6 SoCon) is above .500 for the first time all season after winning at least 20 games each of the last 11 years.
"For the first time in a long time, we have to be excited about being above .500," Lady Mocs coach Wes Moore said. "I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. It has made me appreciate the wins a little more this year."
UTC led 37-31 after a half and outscored Davidson 54-39 in the second, despite Moore resting some starters for most of the final 10 minutes. The Lady Mocs were 20-of-32 from the field in the second half and hit 53.3 percent of their shots for the game.
Dewart lifted UTC to the 54-51 win at Davidson on Jan. 14, hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Saturday, the redshirt junior produced her first career double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds -- both career highs.
"I have been struggling with my shot, so seeing the first one go down gave me the confidence I needed," Dewart said.
Led by Dewart, who was 4-of-8 on 3s, the Lady Mocs hit 14 shots from long range. Tenisha Townsend (13 points, four assists) and Kylie Lambert (12 points) hit three 3s apiece, and Kayla Christopher (9 points) made two.
Whitney Hood was held to 16 points, a little below her SoCon-leading average of 20.5 per game. Guarding her most of the game was Davidson's 6-foot-4 Sophia Aleksandravicius, whose long arms were often draped around Hood like an albatross around her neck.
"I knew going into the game that I couldn't shoot over her, but instead I had to go around her and take it to the basket," Hood said.
Aleksandravicius, second in the SoCon in scoring, had a game-high 25 points, but the last eight came in the final six minutes when UTC's starters were on the bench.
Moore gave his subs plenty of playing time, and three of UTC's freshmen played at least 14 minutes. Taylor Hall scored a career-high 11 points and grabbed four rebounds.
Moore wasn't thrilled with the defense in the second half, but he had no complaints about the rebounding. UTC had a 40-27 edge on the backboards and outscored Davidson 20-8 on second-chance points.
The Lady Mocs play their final regular-season home game Monday against SoCon-leading Appalachian State.
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John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...