The Chattanooga women’s basketball team moved into first place in the Southern Conference with Friday evening’s 60-56 win at Davidson, which snapped a five-game Lady Wildcats conference win streak.
Seniors Kylie Lambert and Kayla Christopher each scored 12 points to lead the Lady Mocs, while junior point guard Alex Black added 11 in the hard-fought victory.
“(Davidson) made some runs,” UTC coach Wes Moore said. “Just when we thought we had a good situation, they hit a 3, a bucket and a couple of free-throws and it’s a nail biter again. I’m proud of the way our kids battled.”
The Lady Mocs (13-6, 6-1 SoCon), who never trailed in the final 20 minutes., grabbed the lead on a Christopher jumper with 1:31 left in the opening period, part of an 11-0 UTC run in the final 2:09 of the first half. They led 35-27 at the break.
Chattanooga led by as much as 12 midway through the second half, but the Lady Mocs endured a scoring drought that lated more than six minutes, allowing Davidson to pull within 43-42 with 8:47 left. Christopher ended UTC’s dry spell with a jumper, then moments later added a 3-pointer to give her team a six-point cushion.
“Kayla Christopher hit two big shots in a row when we were really struggling,” Moore said. “I thought that was important. We hit seven out of 13 3s. You can talk all you want about rebounding, defending or taking of the ball. When we hit over 50 percent from 3-point line, we’ve got a decent chance of winning.”
Five straight points from Katrin Chiemeka coupled with a jumper by Barbera Sitton brought the Lady Wildcats to within 55-54 with 1:38 remaining, but Lambert added a crucial layup off an inbounds pass with seven seconds remaining to all but seal the win.
UTC junior Faith Dupree, playing in her first game since injuring her knee on Nov. 17, finished with 11 points for the Lady Mocs, including six straight first-half points in a span of 1:18 to tie the score at 10-10 early in the opening period.
“First half she kept us in the game,” Moore said. “We put her in three or four minutes into the game and I think she scored most of our points right there during that stretch.”
The Lady Mocs return to action Sunday at Western Carolina.