After leading the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team to its 12th Southern Conference title in the past 14 seasons, and going through the league schedule with just one loss, Lady Mocs coach Wes Moore has been voted SoCon coach of the year.
The league announced its coaches' and media postseason awards Wednesday, along with the all-conference teams, and Moore was voted the top coach for the sixth time in 15 seasons at UTC.
"It's all about the people you surround yourself with," Moore said before Wednesday's practice. "I hate to say that [cliche], but it's true. If you've got great players, they're going to make you look a lot better. And if you've got great assistant coaches, that are hard-working and do their jobs well, the head coach gets the credit."
Moore's record at UTC is 355-112 overall and 242-43 in SoCon play, with 12 regular-season titles and eight tournament championships. The top-seeded Lady Mocs (26-3) begin play in the SoCon tournament Saturday in Asheville, N.C., against either No. 8 seed Georgia Southern or No. 9 Western Carolina.
Lady Mocs center Ashlen Dewart and guard Kayla Christopher made the media's all-conference first team and the coaches' all-conference squad. Junior forward Taylor Hall also was voted to the coaches' 10-player All-SoCon team for the second straight season.
Dewart, a junior, was named All-SoCon for the third time in her career after leading the SoCon in field-goal percentage (53.7) and ranking fourth in scoring (15.8 points per game). The center also made it following her freshman and sophomore seasons at Appalachian State.
"This is definitely a big honor and a personal goal for the season, but it's maybe not a big deal right now because I'm more focused on the tournament," Dewart said. "I just want the championship."
Senior guard Kayla Christopher (11.6 ppg, 3.1 assists per game) received postseason honors for the fourth time. After making the All-Freshman squad in her first year, Christopher has been All-SoCon the past three seasons. She is second all-time at UTC and third in SoCon history in career 3-pointers made with 224.
Lady Mocs guard Tatianna Jackson (5.8 ppg, 3.6 rebounds per game, 32 steals) was named to the all-freshman team by the coaches and media. She came on strong in the second half of the season, Moore said.
"She came back a little different [after the Christmas break], with a little different attitude," Moore said.
Davidson center Sophia Aleksandravicius was voted player of the year by the coaches and media, repeating as the coaches' choice. UNC Greensboro guard Lucy Mason was the media's pick for freshman of the year, while Furman forward Holli Wilkins, who was born in Chattanooga and is the daughter for former UTC men's great Gerald Wilkins, received the coaches' award.
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 ...