The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s basketball team will have its hands full Monday night as it will host Southern Conference co-leader Davidson at the McKenzie Arena. UTC is 11-3 on the year and the Wildcats are 6-8. Both teams are undefeated in SoCon action at 3-0.
Chattanooga is 11-3 on the year and 3-0 in SoCon action. UTC opened the conference season on the road with wins over UNCG and Elon and finally returned home to snare a win over Georgia Southern in front of a home crowd for the first time in nearly six weeks.
Chattanooga leads the Southern Conference in eight categories including scoring offense (69.5), scoring defense (60.2), scoring margin (9.3), field goal percentage (.446), rebounding defense (35.4), assists (15.5), turnover margin (+2.71) and assist-turnover ratio (1.2). UTC has topped the 70-point margin six times this season with three times scoring 80 or more points. Chattanooga has shot 50 percent or better four times including a 50 percent effort Saturday against the Eagles.
Senior Taylor Hall (New Tazewell, Tenn.) leads the team in scoring with 13.6 points per game and leads the SoCon in rebounding (9.0), assists (4.7), assist-turnover ratio (1.7), defensive rebounds (7.7) and minutes played (36.4). She is second in free throw percentage (.827) and was 6-of-6 Saturday against GSU. She is also second in the league for steals (2.5) and seventh for blocked shots (1.1).
Senior Ashlen Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C.) is second on the team in scoring with 11.1 points and rebounding with 4.9 boards per game. She is fourth in the league for field goal percentage, making .521 of her attempts. Classmate Faith Dupree (Knoxville, Tenn.) is third on the team in rebounding with 4.0 per game and is shooting .457 from the field.
The Wildcats are 6-8 on the year with non-conference wins over Clemson, Mount St. Mary’s and Gardner-Webb and are 3-0 in SoCon play with home wins over Wofford and Furman and snaring a road win against Samford. Davidson has played a tough schedule facing NC State, coached by former UTC head coach Wes Moore. The Wolfpack is 14-1 on the season with two Top 25 wins. Other non-conference matchups this season include Wake Forest (66-69), Rutgers (35-66), Charlotte (60-76) and Richmond (68-87).
Davidson is second in the league in scoring with 69.1 points per game, but last in scoring defense allowing 75.6 points per game. The Wildcats are shooting 69.9 percent from the free throw line and 41.2 percent from the field. Davidson is averaging 35.3 rebounds per game and allowing opponents more than 42 per game. The Wildcats, however, lead the SoCon in 3-point shooting making 5.8 per game.
The Wildcats have four players in the top scorers and rebounders in the league. Laura Murray is second in the league in scoring with 19.6 points per game and is second in 3-point field goals made with 26 on the year, tied with teammate Hannah Early who is also second in the league in 3-point field goal percentage making 26-of-61 (.421) from beyond the arc. Early is fifth in the SoCon in scoring with 14.4 points per game while Dakota Dukes is 10th averaging 12.5 points per game. Shneeka Center, averaging 8.2 points per game is fourth on the team. On the boards, Duke is eighth in the league with 7.9 per game while Early is second on the team with 5.4 per game and Center is averaging 5.3.
UTC is 33-9 all-time against Davidson and has won 28 of the last 30 meetings. Chattanooga holds a 16-3 home-court advantage. The last time the two teams met, UTC came away with a one-point victory in the Southern Conference finals, completing a sweep of Davidson for the year.