While Jim Foster has been mixing and matching his lineups, trying to infuse some of his young players into the rotation, some of the veterans continue to have performances to show what they are capable of.
Wednesday night, it was Faith Dupree's turn.
Dupree finished with a team-high 17 points, and the team built a double-digit lead early in the second half, coasting to an 81-70 victory over Austin Peay in Clarksville. The 6-foot-3 Dupree hit 8-of-11 shots and added six rebounds in 20 minutes. Chelsey Shumpert finished with 16 while Taylor Hall had 15 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.
As good as the team was on offense, they were equally inept on defense -- much to Foster's dismay. The 70 points given up were the most given up to a non-Southeastern Conference team all season, and stopped a streak of nine consecutive games in which a team scored 63 points or less.
Before Wednesday, only Tennessee (82) and Alabama (70) had equaled or eclipsed the 70-point mark. Austin Peay's Tiasha Gray had 27 points and four assists, playing all 40 minutes.
"She had some great looks," Foster said of Gray. "We have to take a matchup like that personal, and we didn't. We needed to have a score/stop mentality; we've had that the past few games but tonight, we didn't have it.
"It's our seventh road game in a row -- so what? You have to have more fire in your belly than that to compete."
Ashlen Dewart was coming off a three-game stretch averaging 20.7 points and 7.7 rebounds, which earned her Southern Conference Player of the Week honors. But she got in early foul trouble Wednesday, and that paved the way for Dupree, who was able to score on a variety of jump shots and post-ups throughout the game.
"It's good to be able to help Ashlen out," Dupree said on the radio. "She had a great game Monday, but she can't be there every game, so I'm glad I could help."
UTC (9-3) shot 63 percent from the floor, scoring 48 points in the paint and 22 off 11 Austin Peay turnovers. They finished the first half on an 11-2 run, and blew the game open with a 16-5 spurt in the second half, capitalizing on every Lady Governor mistake.
The Mocs will travel to East Tennessee State University on Saturday for their final game of the calendar year, which will be their eighth consecutive game away from home. They next play at home on Jan. 4 against Georgia Southern.
"We get another chance to get better," Foster said. "Around five o'clock Saturday, we get a little break."
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