published Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

UTC Lady Mocs rise to 5-0 in SoCon

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    Staff Photo by John Rawlston UTC coach Wes Moore talks to his players during a game.

STATESBORO, Ga. -- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team improved to 5-0 in the Southern Conference on Monday with a 66-60 win over Georgia Southern at Hanner Fieldhouse.

The Lady Mocs (10-4) also improved to 4-0 in SoCon road games, a fast start that could pay dividends down the road as coach Wes Moore's squad tries to win the program's 12th regular-season title in the past 13 seasons.

The Lady Mocs appeared to be headed for a rout when a Meghan Downes 3-pointer with 11:04 to play put them up 50-31. The Eagles (5-10, 1-5) made things interesting late, however, eventually cutting the margin to 62-57 with 35 seconds left.

"You've got to give credit to [the Eagles]. They just fought and battled and kept attacking us," Moore said.

He sounded down after the Eagles outscored his team 43-35 in the second half, but he said he'd get over it since the Lady Mocs remained undefeated in SoCon play.

"At the end of the day, this is where we want to be," he said.

Whitney Hood led UTC with 17 points and nine rebounds, Faith Dupree scored 10 points and Taylor Hall added 12 rebounds. Hall, the SoCon's leading rebounder, has had double-digit rebounds in seven of UTC's 14 games this season.

The win was UTC's eighth in its past nine games; the only loss was at No. 6 Tennessee on Jan. 3.

UTC led 23-8 when the Eagles went on a 7-1 run to make it 24-15. A 3-pointer by Downes and two Alex Black free throws with two seconds left gave the Lady Mocs a 31-17 lead at halftime.

With 12:29 left in the second half, Downes was fouled while shooting a 3 and made all three free throws to put the Lady Mocs up 45-26. They seemed to be cruising when Georgia Southern began its rally. Briana Scott led four Eagles in double figures with 14 points.

UTC returns to McKenzie Arena for their next three SoCon games, starting Friday against Wofford.

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