STATESBORO, Ga. — The Chattanooga women’s basketball team captured another convincing Southern Conference road victory on Monday evening, cruising to a 67-50 win at Georgia Southern.
UTC’s Ashlen Dewart finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds for the second game in a row, and just like in last Saturday’s win at College of Charleston, the 6-4 junior only had four points at the break.
“We are setting people up with that,” Chattanooga coach Wes Moore said. “As we say in Texas, ‘we have an ace in the hole,’ we’ve got an Ash in the hole.”
Not only did Dewart score 21 second-half points, she also brought down nine rebounds in the final period, which proved to be crucial. UTC was outrebounded by five in the first half, but ended the contest with a 37-31 advantage on the glass.
“We would have been in a whole lot of trouble without her,” Moore said. “Nine offensive rebounds, 24 points, 13 total boards. We rode her pretty hard tonight. She’s probably going to be sleeping on this road trip home.”
The Lady Mocs (23-3, 16-1 SoCon), who led by 10 at intermission, let their lead slip to as low as six points with just over 14 minutes to play, but they stretched their lead back out to 15 minutes later with a 9-0 run, which was capped by a pair of free-throws from freshman Tatianna Jackson.
GSU never reduced its deficit to under single-digits the rest of the way, and freshman Alicia Payne, who finished with a season-high eight points, added a layup with 55 seconds remaining to put Chattanooga ahead by 19—the team’s largest lead of the game.
“I probably should have played her more in the second half,” said Moore, referring to Payne. “She is coming on. She is growing up right before our eyes. That is the thing, she has hit a couple of shots the last couple of games, and she’s got a little bit of confidence.”
Payne, whose previous career high was three points, shot 3-for-4 from the field, including a first-half 3-pointer, and she also added an assist and a steal.
Senior Kayla Christopher finished with nine points for the Lady Mocs, junior Meghan Downes chipped in eight, while Jackson contributed six points and four rebounds.
Chattanooga outscored its opponents 25-4 on points off turnovers and held a 23-4 advantage in second-chance points.
“That’s 48-8,” Moore said. “That was the ballgame. If we don’t hustle and make those plays, we lose this ballgame. I’m proud of that. I’m proud of our bench. Our kids off the bench have been a big difference all year as well. I am proud of the whole team. They just keep chugging away.”
The Lady Mocs return to action Saturday when they host Western Carolina (5 p.m.)—the first game of a double-header with UTC’s men’s game, which hosts to Elon at 7:30.