Forty minutes at McKenzie Arena doesn't go much better than the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team's 81-39 destruction of Western Carolina on Saturday.
"You couldn't ask for a better day," said UTC's Kayla Christopher, who hit three 3-point shots and scored 15 points.
After being down 5-4 early, the Southern Conference-leading Lady Mocs (24-3, 17-1) went on a 21-0 run. They were up by 30 at halftime, giving the crowd of 2,763 plenty to applaud, and the second half was little more than a formality.
"We had a lot of people play well and contribute," a relaxed-looking UTC coach Wes Moore said afterward.
Seniors Christopher and Kylie Lambert were honored before the game. They will play their final game at the Roundhouse on Monday, against second-place Davidson (18-9, 15-2). With a win, UTC will clinch the SoCon regular-season title outright.
The Lady Mocs stretched their overall win streak to 14 games and their run at McKenzie Arena to 25 in a row, tying the school record. UTC's home streak is second in Division I, behind Baylor's 54-game streak.
UTC's streak was never in doubt Saturday against the Catamounts (7-19, 5-12). UTC did trail 5-4 at the 14:17 mark of the first half but took total control with the 21-0 run. Faith Dupree came in off the bench and scored nine points during the spurt.
"I liked the fact that we were able to get going transition-wise and were able to push tempo and get some open looks," Moore said. "Twenty assists and nine turnovers, I was real pleased to see that."
The lead was 41-11 at halftime. Appalachian State had a 27-11 lead against the Catamounts on Monday.
UTC hit 18 of 34 shots and outrebounded WCU 27-9 in the first 20 minutes. UTC's Taylor Hall had a game-high 10 rebounds.
The final 20 minutes mostly involved both teams' benches. For the game, UTC's bench outscored the Catamounts' 45-21. Meghan Downes scored 13 off the bench. In the second half, she was fouled on a 3-pointer and made the first two free throws. Destiny Bramblett rebounded the miss and Downes hit a 3 from the left wing, putting UTC up 72-26 with 6:54 to play.
"The energy from the team kind of helps me get going," Downes said.
Ashlen Dewart played only 19 minutes and her streak of double-doubles ended at three in a row with 12 points and nine rebounds. The Lady Mocs were without Ka'Vonne Towns, who had a death in her family.
John Frierson is in his fifth year at the Times Free Press and fifth 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 ...