published Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

Lady Mocs cruise to 16th win in row

BOONE, N.C. — Any questions about whether the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team would come out ready to play Saturday were quickly answered.

In their season finale at rival Appalachian State, the Lady Mocs -- already the Southern Conference regular-season champions -- scored the game's first nine points. Sharp shooting and good all-around play led to a 17-point halftime lead.

UTC remained in total control throughout the second half and cruised to a 69-45 win, ending its regular season on a 16-game win streak.

"I didn't see that [blowout] coming, to be honest with you," said coach Wes Moore, who now has six seasons of 26 wins or more during his 15-year run at UTC (26-3, 19-1).

Moore said he thought he'd done a poor job of preparing the team the previous two days and said he told the players after the game, "Thanks for bailing me out."

UTC outscored Appalachian State (19-8, 13-6) 42-20 in the paint, and the Lady Mocs bench had a 30-6 scoring advantage.

It was senior day Saturday at the Holmes Center, and Lady Mocs reserve forward Kayla Freeman participated in the pregame proceedings, walking out with her parents and older sister Courtney, an ASU senior.

Lady Mocs center Ashlen Dewart, playing at ASU for the first time since transferring from there in August 2011, was right at home. She earned her seventh double-double of the season, finishing with 13 points and 11 rebounds in 19 minutes. Taylor Hall scored 10 first-half points to help UTC get rolling early and finished with 12, plus six rebounds.

Moore said UTC came out strong and produced a "businesslike" performance, which was good to see, he said, heading into this week's SoCon tournament in Asheville N.C. Top-seeded UTC will play at noon Saturday at UNC Asheville's Kimmel Arena.

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