ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Senior Kayla Christopher's put back basket with eight seconds remaining in regulation gave Chattanooga a 64-63 win against Davidson for the 2013 Southern Conference women's basketball championship here Monday.
UTC (29-3) will represent the SoCon in next week's NCAA D-I tournament.
Christopher grabbed a missed shot by UTC junior Ashlen Dewart along the baseline with less that 10 seconds remaining and then sank what proved to be the winning basket.
Davidson had one shot at the win, but Murray’s jumper from deep on the left fell short and Christopher gathered up the rebound for the nail-biting victory.
"Coming out of the timeout, I stressed to everyone to crash the boards," said Christopher. "We had 20 seconds on the clock, so we had a chance for more than one shot.
"Taylor (Hall) and Ashlen (Dewart) did a good job keeping the offensive rebounds long enough to get the second look. I was able to sneak in there on the weak side and be at the right place at the right time."
19 Straight:The Lady Mocs have now won 19 straight games which is the sixth longest winning streak in the nation this season.
"It wasn't a pretty game, but I am proud of our kids as they hung in there and found a way to win," said UTC coach Wes Moore.
"You have to give credit to Davidson who came in with a great game plan and played us tough."
Mocs Rally: Trailing by as many a 11 points in the second half, UTC tied the game at 54-54 at 6:13 on a Taylor Hall 3-pointer from the right wing and again at 58-58 at 3:34 on a basket by Dewart, but did not take a lead in the second half until Christopher's goal.
The Lady Mocs claim a Southern Conference record 14th league tournament title, is 14-0 in title games, winning its first crown since 2010. Davidson, led by Murray’s 22 points, falls to 21-12.
Birthday Song: The Lady Mocs sang happy birthday to UTC assistant athletics director Mike Royster before the game.
Special Day for Senior Kylie Lambert: The senior guard from McMinn Central HS got engaged to Grant Brown on the court after the game.
Never Lost a SoCon Final: UTC has won nine SoCon titles under coach Moore in his 15-year Mocs career. The Lady Mocs have never lost a SoCon title game under coach Moore.
30th Anniversary: UTC has won 14 SoCon titles, the first coming 30 years ago in 1983 under coach Sharon Fanning.
Dewart Double-Double: Dewart got her eighth double-double of the year with 15 points and 12 rebounds while Hall led the Lady Mocs for the second straight game with 19 points with six boards. Christopher had seven points, six rebounds and three assists while junior Faith Dupree (Knoxville, Tenn.) had nine points in 10 minutes off the bench.
Dewart on the Last Basket: "It's a perfect way for the season to end, with Kayla (Christopher) hitting the winning shot. I can't even tell you how important she's been to this team. The last play was just the cherry on top. I was worried for a half-second after I missed the second one. Then Taylor (Hall) and Kayla came flying in. It was an amazing game. I'm so proud of our seniors and our team."
Points in the Paint: Chattanooga outscored Davidson 30-22 in the paint and 16-10 off the bench and outrebounded the Wildcats 36-32. The Lady Mocs converted 21 offensive rebounds into 23 second chance points compared the Davidson’s six points on six offensive boards. UTC forced 19 Davidson miscues and had 13 points compared to the Wildcats’ four points off six UTC turnovers.
Dewart Tourney MVP: Dewart was named the tournament Most Outstanding Player. She was joined on the first team All-Tourney squad by Hall, Davidson’s Murray and Aleksandravicius and Appalachian State’s Raven Gary. UTC's Alex Black was selected to the all-tournament second team along with Mountaineer Anna Freeman, Elon’s Kelsey Evans, Georgia Southern’s Meredyth Frye and Taylor Reece of Samford.
NCAA Bracket Show: The Lady Mocs will learn their NCAA Tournament fate Monday, March 18. The ESPN Selection Show will air at 7 p.m.
Southern Conference Women's Tournament Championship Game
CHATTANOOGA 64, DAVIDSON 63
MURRAY, Laura 6-10 6-10 22; ALEKSANDRAVICIUS, So 8-11 2-2 18; DAVIS, Sarah
2-3 2-2 6; EARLY, Hannah 3-7 0-0 6; CHIEMEKA, Katrin 1-5 2-2 5; CALIN,
Jasmine 1-1 0-0 2; DUKES, Dakota 0-1 2-2 2; SITTON, Barbara 1-3 0-0 2.
Totals 22-41 14-18 63.
HALL, Taylor 7-17 4-6 19; DEWART, Ashlen 6-17 3-5 15; DUPREE, Faith 4-8 1-2
9; CHRISTOPHER, Kayla 3-9 0-0 7; LAMBERT, Kylie 1-5 2-2 5; JACKSON, Tatianna
2-4 0-0 4; TOWNS, Ka'Vonne 1-4 0-0 3; BLACK, Alex 1-6 0-1 2; DOWNES, Meghan
0-0 0-0 0; PAYNE, Alicia 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-70 10-16 64.
Davidson...................... 32 31 - 63
Chattanooga................... 25 39 - 64
3-point goals--Davidson 5-11 (MURRAY, Laura 4-5; CHIEMEKA, Katrin 1-3;
EARLY, Hannah 0-3), Chattanooga 4-18 (LAMBERT, Kylie 1-2; TOWNS, Ka'Vonne
1-3; HALL, Taylor 1-3; CHRISTOPHER, Kayla 1-5; BLACK, Alex 0-4; JACKSON,
Tatianna 0-1). Fouled out--Davidson-None, Chattanooga-None.
Rebounds--Davidson 32 (ALEKSANDRAVICIUS, So 11), Chattanooga 36 (DEWART,
Ashlen 12). Assists--Davidson 14 (SITTON, Barbara 4; MURRAY, Laura 4),
Chattanooga 8 (CHRISTOPHER, Kayla 3). Total fouls--Davidson 16, Chattanooga
15. Technical fouls--Davidson-None, Chattanooga-None. A-1786
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