published Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Lady Mocs cruise past UNCG, 63-44

  • photo
    UTC's Whitney Hood protects the ball during Saturday's game against North Carolina Greensboro.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Kayla Christopher and Whitney Hood led the way Saturday as the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team started the second half of the Southern Conference schedule with a one-sided win.

Christopher did her damage from the perimeter, scoring 16 points, while Hood got the bulk of her 16 in the paint in UTC's 63-44 win over UNCG Greensboro at McKenzie Arena.

"We wanted to come out tonight and make a statement, that we're not going to just lay down [after back-to-back losses]," Christopher said. "We're in this until the end."

Hitting four of her first six 3-point attempts, Christopher helped UTC (14-6, 9-2) pull away from the Spartans (3-16, 2-9) in the first half. The Lady Mocs led 35-19 at the break and were never challenged in the second half.

"I thought the first half was really impressive," Lady Mocs coach Wes Moore said. "We had about twice as many assists as turnovers; we had 11 offensive boards. Second half, we just kind of maintained and finished the job."

The game was well in hand for UTC in the second half when Hood made perhaps the prettiest play of her Lady Mocs career.

With the shot clock winding down, Ka'Vonne Towns fired a pass to Hood in the post. She dribbled once before stepping under the basket and flipping a high-arching reverse layup off the glass and in to give UTC a 58-40 lead.

"I didn't even know what the shot clock said," Hood said. "She got it in there and I just put it up, I guess."

The Lady Mocs' bench was busy throughout the game. Moore used 10 players in the first half and the reserves were equally busy in the second. The bench played a combined 74 minutes.

Backup point guard Alex Black averages 18.1 minutes a game, but she did not play because of a foot injury. Faith Dupree was effective spelling Hood at the post, scoring eight points, while Towns matched starting point guard Tenisha Townsend with four assists.

After being outrebounded in recent losses at Appalachian State and Davidson, the Lady Mocs had a 48-30 rebounding advantage and 20 second-chance points Saturday. Taylor Hall led UTC with eight rebounds.

UTC didn't shoot the ball well Saturday (36.8 percent), but those second chances, off 18 offensive rebounds, made a big difference.

"I always feel like rebounding, if you can get an extra shot or two, and hold them to one shot per possession, even on a bad night you've got a chance to win," Moore said.

The Lady Mocs host Elon on Monday. The Phoenix (10-10, 6-5) fell 67-53 at Samford on Saturday.

about John Frierson...

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 ...

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