Top-seeded Chattanooga cruised to a 77-44 win over No. 5 seed Elon in Sunday’s first semifinal game of the Southern Conference Women’s Basketball Championship at U.S. Cellular Center. The win was the 24th consecutive victory for the Mocs, who will now play for their 15th tourney title.
SoCon Player of the Year Taylor Hall led Chattanooga (28-3) with 18 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals. Ashlen Dewart added 14 points and seven boards. Elon (15-16) was paced by Kelsey Harris with 10 points, six rebounds and four steals.
The Mocs led throughout, scoring the games’ first eight points. Jenifer Rhodes got the Phoenix within seven, 19-12, at 8:51 of the first half. Chattanooga answered with a 13-2 run capped by two Dewart free throws to take firm control of the game.
It was a 15-point affair, 38-23, early in second half following Lauren Brown’s tip-in at 17:39. The Mocs put the game away with stifling defense. That bucket by the Phoenix was the only one in its first 21 second-half attempts.
Chattanooga went on a 24-5 run over that 13-plus minute stretch to extend the lead to 34 points. Dewart’s three-point play at 6:57 made it a 60-26 advantage, putting the game out of reach.
The Mocs await the winner of Davidson-Western Carolina for the SoCon title and automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. The title tilt is at 5 p.m. Monday in ExploreAsheville.com Arena inside the U.S. Cellular Center. It airs on CSS and ESPN3.