UTC Lady Mocs Top Samford, 60-46

22 Straight Wins at Home

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - by B.B. Branton
Kayla Christopher
Kayla Christopher
- photo by Tim Evearitt

Kobe Bryant and Cheryl Miller would have been impressed.

Michael Jordan might have asked if she ate two bowls of Wheaties at halftime.

Sparked by 18 second-half points from Kayla Christopher, including four straight treys, the Chattanooga Lady Mocs rallied to defeat Southern Conference foe Samford, 60-46, Wednesday night at McKenzie Arena.

Christopher, a senior from Oliver Springs, Tenn.

, tallied all her points in the final 20 minutes to lead a second half comeback to secure the ninth straight win this season and the team’s 22nd straight home victory over two seasons.

“I didn’t get many good looks in the first half, but coach (Wes Moore) told me to be more aggressive in the second half,” said the 5-9 guard who hit a couple of 3s from close to 25 feet out.

“She has the green light to shoot it from that far out and just has to work to get open,” said UTC coach Moore.

The Lady Mocs improved to 19-3 overall and continue to lead the SoCon at 12-1, while Samford  is 11-11 overall and in fifth place in the SoCon at 8-5.

The Bulldogs opened the game on a strong note leading by nine on two occasions by the 14:36 mark and held a three-point half time lead at 25-22.

The visitors lead went to five (31-26) at 17:24 of the second half on a jumper by sophomore Taylor Reece before Christopher got hot from beyond the arc.

Quicker that one can eat a bowl of Wheaties, Christopher connected on four of five shots – all 3s – in a five-minute span to give UTC a six point advantage at 42-36 at 12:13.

Reece answered with a pair of jumpers of her own in a little over a minute to pull the visitors to within a pair at 42-40 at the 9:49 mark, but could get no closer.

“Taylor is an excellent player and was getting open looks at the basket so we did decided to go small to see if we could put pressure on her shot and keep the ball out of he hands as much as possible,” said coach Moore.

Using quickness and turning up the defense, the Mocs then held Reece and company to only four points in the final nine minutes in a 16-4 run for a 60-44 lead.

Reece’s final points came on a layup with nine seconds remaining, but it was too little too late as Samford trailed 60-46.

We dug deep to win this one," said Moore who saw his team shoot 50% from the field (14-28) in the second half after only hitting 9-of-0 in the first half (30%).

Joining Christopher in double figure scoring for the Lady Mocs was Tatianna Jackson with 10 (plus three steals and five boards), while Taylor Hall contributed with four points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

Samford was led by Hannah Dawson with a double-double (15 pts., 11 rebs), while Jazmine Martin and Reece contributed with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

While the Mocs’ defense was a factor in the second half, Samford had the solid defense in the opening half forcing seven Lady Mocs turnovers and had seven assists and five steals.

“Hats off to Samford as they made it tough on us to get it inside tonight,” coach Moore stated. “They made 22 turnovers in our first meeting (UTC won 66-60) and had only 11 tonight.”

First Half Recap: UTC’s Alex Black opened the game with a trey, but Samford wasn’t fazed and went on a 14-2 run to lead 14-5 at 14:36 on a jumper in the lane by Kendall Schwantz.

The hosts then took over and went on a 9-0 run against the Birmingham-based school as Ka’vonne Towns tossed in five before a Faith DePree layup even the score at 14-14 at 11:05.

Samford outscored UTC, 11-8, for the 25-22 lead at intermission.

But the Lady Mocs senior with hot hand was the difference in the second half.

“She’s a senior who refused to lose tonight and once she started shooting (only 0-1 in the first 20 minutes) she was the difference in the game,” Moore stated.

“And Tatianna gave us a lift off the bench and converted turnovers into layups,” Moore stated.

Next Game Legends Weekend - The Lady Mocs host Elon Saturday at 5 p.m. as part of a doubleheader as the men host the College of Charleston at 7:30 p.m.

Former UTC coaches and players will be on campus this weekend and honored on Saturday night.

Mon Feb. 11 Doubleheader: UTC also hosts a doubleheader with UNCG (women) and Samford (men).


 McKenzie Arena - Chattanooga, Tenn.

SAMFORD (11-11, 8-5 SoCon)
DAWSON, Hannah 5-13 2-2 15; MARTIN, Jazmine 5-15 0-2 13; REECE, Taylor 5-10
2-4 12; SCHWANTZ, Kendall 2-6 0-0 4; STRICKLIN, Krista 0-8 1-2 1; MAYES,
Ashli 0-2 1-2 1; WEBSTER, Rebecca 0-3 0-0 0; FLETCHER, Keke 0-1 0-0 0.
Totals 17-58 6-12 46.

CHATTANOOGA (19-3, 12-1 SoCon)
CHRISTOPHER, Kayla 7-12 0-0 18; JACKSON, Tatianna 4-7 2-2 10; BLACK, Alex
2-3 4-4 9; DEWART, Ashlen 3-13 2-6 8; TOWNS, Ka'Vonne 3-7 0-2 7; DUPREE,
Faith 2-8 0-0 4; HALL, Taylor 2-6 0-0 4; BRAMBLETT, Destiny 0-0 0-0 0;
LAMBERT, Kylie 0-0 0-0 0; DOWNES, Meghan 0-0 0-0 0; PAYNE, Alicia 0-2 0-0 0.
Totals 23-58 8-14 60.
Samford.......................   25   21  -   46
Chattanooga...................   22   38  -   60
3-point goals--Samford 6-23 (DAWSON, Hannah 3-6; MARTIN, Jazmine 3-8;
STRICKLIN, Krista 0-4; MAYES, Ashli 0-2; WEBSTER, Rebecca 0-1; FLETCHER,
Keke 0-1; REECE, Taylor 0-1), Chattanooga 6-17 (CHRISTOPHER, Kayla 4-7;
TOWNS, Ka'Vonne 1-5; BLACK, Alex 1-2; PAYNE, Alicia 0-2; DEWART, Ashlen
0-1). Fouled out--Samford-STRICKLIN, Krista, Chattanooga-None.
Rebounds--Samford 35 (DAWSON, Hannah 11), Chattanooga 46 (HALL, Taylor 10).
Assists--Samford 12 (SCHWANTZ, Kendall 4), Chattanooga 10 (PAYNE, Alicia 5).
Total fouls--Samford 15, Chattanooga 13. Technical fouls--Samford-None,
Chattanooga-None. A-1,973

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net

PHOTOS: CCS, Silverdale In Thanksgiving Hoops Tournament

Chattanooga Christian wrapped up their Thanksgiving weekend basketball tournament Saturday night with boys and girls games against Silverdale. Lookout Valley and Lakeview Ft. Oglethorpe also participated. (click for more)

Lee Men Fall To Palm Beach Atlantic 68-66

The Lee men’s basketball team came up just short in a 68-66 non-conference loss to Palm Beach Atlantic in the Valdosta State Thanksgiving Classic on Saturday afternoon. A day after winning in overtime to Coastal Georgia the Flames came up a shot short against the Sailfish despite a 21-point effort from CJ Reese. Jervon Johnson added 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point ... (click for more)

Fire Breaks Out At McKee Bakery Plant 2; Damages Listed At $15,000; Propane Tanks Were Near Blaze

Fire broke out at a McKee Food plant at Collegedale on Saturday night. At 6:45 p.m. , an employee at McKee Foods called 911 call reporting a fire at McKee Foods Plant 2 located at 10260 McKee Dr. Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department responded and arrived on the scene reporting flames 15 feet high at one end of the building of Plant 2. According to fire officials, ... (click for more)

Woman Shot Saturday Night Near O'Rear Street

A woman was shot while driving on Saturday night. Just after  9 p.m.  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to reports of a person shot. Once on scene, police located a female victim near the 2500 block of O'Rear Street suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound to the face. The victim was driving a vehicle when the vehicle was struck by gunfire. She  ... (click for more)

Lung Cancer, The Deadliest Cancer In The United States

This time of year, I remember to give thanks for my faith, my family and friends and my health. Recently, I learned that lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer in the United States; in fact, more Americans die each year from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. One in 13 men and one in 16 women will develop the disease in their lifetime. It’s important to learn about ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Trouble With Chicago

On “Black Friday” night, I saw television footage of what was said to be about 2,000 people marching in protest in Chicago. The very vocal mob descended on the toniest street – Michigan Avenue – to spew its rage over a police officer who shot and killed a 17-year-old, this over a year ago in October of 2014. The just-released tapes of the incident embroiled the blacks who insist ... (click for more)