CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- Junior Whitney Hood (Meridian, Miss.) scored a game-high 20 points and led the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to a Southern Conference women's basketball win over Western Carolina Saturday night at the McKenzie Arena.
Hood was one of four Chattanooga (9-11, 6-5 SoCon) players in double figures on the night knocking down her SoCon-leading 11th game with 20 or more points. Sophomore Kylie Lambert (Etowah, Tenn.), heeding Chattanooga Head Coach Wes Moore's instruction to "shoot more", knocked down her second career double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Lambert got the scoring started early bookending a 13-7 scoring run to start the game with a pair of 3-pointers sandwiched around a layup for eight points. Chattanooga continued to shoot more and led 25-15 with less than a quarter of the game gone on a 3-pointer from freshman Destiny Bramblett (Radcliff, Ky.).
The Catamounts (6-12, 4-5 SoCon), with five points from Kaila'Shea Menendez, quickly cut that lead back to 27-25 on a 10-2 run as the Lady Mocs managed just two points over the next five minutes. Junior Bailey Dewart (Spartanburg, S.C.) drained a 3-pointer at the 4:56 mark of the first half and the Lady Mocs jumped on board with its own 10-2 run to expand the lead back to double digits at 37-27 with 1:59 until intermission.
Chattanooga shot 48.4 percent from the floor making 15-of-31 while the Catamounts kept up shooting 43.8 percent of their own on a 14-of-32 performance. The Lady Mocs went 7-of-16 from beyond the arc in the first half and just 1-of-2 from the free throw line.
The Lady Mocs kept up the pressure as the second half started with a 9-2 run to build its lead to its largest at that point, 47-34, with less than two minutes expired in the half. Chattanooga never trailed by more than seven points the remainder of the game went on to give Moore his 499th career win and 299th win as head coach of the Lady Mocs.
Sophomore Kayla Christopher (Oliver Springs, Tenn.) was 4-for-5 on the night with a pair of 3-pointers for 11 points and dished out five assists. Bramblett was the fourth Chattanooga player in double figures with 10 points, a career-high, a tied her previous best with seven rebounds. Junior Tenisha Townsend (Antioch, Tenn.) was one shy of her career-best with a game-high seven assists on the night.
Chattanooga reached the 40 rebound plateau for the first time since they pulled down 42 against UNC Greensboro on Jan. 2 and outrebounded the Catamounts 40-36. The Lady Mocs forced 12 turnovers and converted that into 18 points and had 13 second chance points on 11 offensive boards.
The Lady Mocs kept up their hot shooting in the second half making 14-of-31 (45.2%) but slowed down behind the arc making just 2-of-11 for a total of nine in the game. Chattanooga held Western to just 8-of-29 from the field and 0-for-7 from the 3-point line.
Western Carolina Caitlin Hollifield scored a team-high 18 points and posted a double-double with a game-high 13 rebounds. Menendez had 15 points for the Catamounts on 6-of-11 from the field.
The Lady Mocs will not return to action until Jan. 31 when they host the College of Charleston at 7 p.m. at the McKenzie Arena.