The UTC Lady Mocs had a cold shooting night and lost 53-40 at Auburn on Wednesday night.
UTC had been trying to defeat its third SEC opponent of the year. The Lady Mocs earlier beat Tennessee and Alabama.
Chattanooga falls to 8-2 on the year. The Lady Tigers improve to 9-2.
Ashlen Dewart had 13 for the Lady Mocs, who hit on only four of 31 three-point tries.
Kayla Christopher had 11. Tatiana Jackson scored 5, Meghan Downes 4, Taylor Hall 3, KaVonne Towns and Kylie Lambert 2 each and Alex Black 1.
Sophomore guard Hasina Muhammad scored 19 for Auburn.
Chattanooga’s only lead of the game came early behind free throws from Christopher and a lay-in by junior Hall just less than two minutes into the contest. Auburn’s Tyrese Tanner hit a jumper at the 17:55 mark and led Auburn on a 17-0 run over the next 6:39 for a 19-4 lead with less than half of the first period gone.
The Lady Mocs responded with a 9-2 run to get back to within eight points, 21-13, at the 4:53 mark of the half but Aburn fought back with seven straight points to retake command of the game. Dewart hit a layup in the final minute and Auburn led UTC 28-15 at the break.
In the second half, the Lady Mocs cut Auburn’s lead to seven points twice but couldn’t get any closer. With UTC trailing 32-21 early in the latter period, sophomore Towns grabbed a defensive rebound off a missed Auburn free throw that led to a jumper from junior Downes to cut the lead to 32-23 with 15:44 to play. Towns would then get a layup of her own at the 14:37 mark of the half to make it 32-25.
Auburn got the next five points to stretch the lead back out to 37-25 with 12:02 to play. The Lady Mocs answered with a 5-0 run by Dewart to cut it back to seven, 37-30, at the 11:04 mark, but the Tigers outscored UTC 14-5 over the next 7:34 to gain their largest lead of the game, 51-35 with 2:48 to play.
Chattanooga was outscored in the paint 24-16 and had eight second chance points off 13 offensive boards to the Tigers’ 13 from 15 offensive rebounds. Auburn outrebounded Chattanooga 42-32. Hall had a team-high eight rebounds for the Lady Mocs and senior Lambert had seven. Lambert and Towns each had a team-best three assists while Christopher led UTC with three steals.
The Lady Mocs will take time off for the holiday before returning to prepare for their final non-conference contest. UTC will travel to Birmingham to take on UAB on Jan. 2 in a midday game.
The Lady Mocs moved up two spots in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 to third place with 661 points. Chattanooga moved ahead of Middle Tennessee (6-4) who was third last week and perennial top mid-major Green Bay (6-2). The Blue Raiders are just one point behind the Lady Mocs in fourth while the Phoenix fell from second to fifth.
The Lady Mocs are still receiving votes in both the AP Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll. In the AP Top 25 Poll, UTC received seven votes while in the USA Today Coaches Poll the Lady Mocs received nine votes.
In the NCAA statistics, Chattanooga is ranked in the Top 50 in eight categories and sub-100 in six others. With a SoCon-leading 1.15 assist-turnover ratio, the Lady Mocs are ranked 15th in the nation and 16th in turnovers per game (13.7) after giving up just five last week against Jacksonville State. Chattanooga is ranked 17th in the win-loss category with a winning percentage of 88.9 percent (8-1).
The Lady Mocs’ scoring offense (75.0 ppg) is ranked 22nd in the nation and they outscore opponents by an average 18 points per game, 25th best among all NCAA Division I schools. UTC leads the Southern Conference in 3-point shooting with 7.4 per game and that is 24th in the
Larry Ward -- The voice of the Lady Mocs.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt