CHATTANOOGA (UTC/WRCB) -- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team opened the 2011-12 season with a tight 65-59 win over Baylor in the opening round of the Women's Preseason NIT at McKenzie Arena.
Sophomore Taylor Hall posted a double-double with a team-high 13 points and 10 rebounds while teammate senior Whitney Hood recorded a double-double as well with 11 points and 10 boards.
The Lady Mocs advance to face top-ranked Baylor on Sunday in Waco. The Bears blasted Howard 82-28 behind 22 points from preseason all-American Brittney Griner.
Chattanooga led throughout much of the first half behind the offense of Hall who had eight points at the half. However, the Blazers took a brief lead toward the end of the first half outscoring UTC 10-3 over a three minute stretch to take a 30-27 lead with 30 seconds to play. Senior Tenisha Townsend drained a 3-pointer with seven ticks on the clock to draw even at intermission.
In the second half, the lead changed four times with neither team getting ahead by more than six points. Hood, who was 1-of-3 in the first half, went 3-for-4 from the field and was a perfect 3-for-3 from the charity stripe. Junior Kylie Lambert added eight points in the second frame to score a team-best 13 points of 4-of-5 shooting including a 2-for-2 from beyond the arc.
Towsend was a solid 4-for-4 from the free throw line down the stretch to solidify the Lady Mocs lead and was the fourth UTC player in double figures with 10 points and five assists. Junior Kayla Christopher was held scoreless throughout much of the game with the UAB defense stacked against her. However, she hit a jumper with 3:55 to play to cut the Blazers lead to 54-53 then followed that with a trey to give Chattanooga a 56-54 lead 50 seconds later.
UAB's Amber Jones drained a 3-pointer of her own to give the Blazers UAB a 57-56 lead. However, Townsend was rock solid from the line and scored all four of her free throws in the final 42 seconds of play.
Griner leads No. 1 Baylor in 82-28 rout of Howard
WACO, Texas (AP) - Brittney Griner had 22 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocked shots as Baylor easily won its first season opener as the No. 1 team, 82-28, over Howard in a preseason WNIT game Friday night.
The Lady Bears scored the game's first 28 points, nine by Griner, the 6-foot-8 phenon who was a unanimous preseason AP All-America selection to start her junior season.
Odyssey Sims added 15 points and four assists.
About the only thing missing for Griner was a dunk, and it appeared that she passed up a chance for the sixth of her college career in the first half. Griner was open underneath the basket and took a step before laying the ball in for a 32-5 lead.
One game into her junior season, Griner has 401 career blocks, only 45 shy of matching the Big 12 record held by Oklahoma's Courtney Paris.
Information provided by UTC Sports Information and GoMocs.com.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.