CHATTANOOGA (UTC/WRCB) -- Taylor Hall's big night helped the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team close out a perfect season at home Monday night with an 80-71 win over Southern Conference co-Champion Appalachian State.
The Lady Mocs will enter the league tournament as the No. 3 seed. They'll face the winner of Friday's opening-round game between 11th-seeded UNC-Greensboro and 6th-seeded Furman on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. ET.
UTC's win over the Mountaineers (23-5, 17-3 in SoCon) came two days after a home victory over Davidson, who also won Monday night to earn a share of the title with ASU. It wrapped up the Lady Mocs' first undefeated season at home (13-0) since a 12-0 home mark in '05-06.
"It was a great team win. Now whether you finished first or eleventh or whatever, now we erase the board and start over and have a mini season of hopefully three games in Asheville," said head coach Wes Moore. "It was a good way to finish up (beating the SoCon's top two teams). We talked about that. We would like to have some momentum going into the tournament."
Hall drained a career-high five 3-pointers in six attempts and scored a career-best 24 points in the win. She grabbed eight boards and was 7-of-8 from the free throw line.
"We knew if we drove in they had a tendency to help, so there was an opportunity to kick it out," Hall said. "Our guards did a good job of kicking it when they had the chance."
Many of her baskets came at key moments in the second half with the shot clock winding down. She hit back-to-back 3's to put UTC up 66-58 with just under eight minutes to play. ASU rallied to cut the lead to two, but Hall hit one more from the outside to cap a 7-0 run that for a 73-64 lead with 3:04 left.
"Obviously, Taylor Hall, when she's hitting threes, we're a different team. It made a big difference for us," Moore said.
Senior Whitney Hood topped 20 points for the fourth time this season, going 7-of-10 from the field and pulling down seven rebounds.
Tenisha Townsend and Kayla Christopher also finished in double figures with 11 points apiece. Townsend dished out five assists and hit 5-of-6 shots from the free throw line in the final two minutes to help seal the win.
"I think we sent a message," Hood said of the Lady Mocs' strong finish. "Next week is a new season and hopefully we will be ready for the challenge."
Anna Freeman had a team-high 22 points for the Mountaineers. Raven Gary tossed in 13 points while Sydnor had 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
After being outrebounded 48-25 in the season's first meeting with ASU, the Lady Mocs won the battle of the boards, 37-31 on Monday night. UTC also shot nearly 50-percent from the field.
"We've got some work to do, no doubt, but it's nice to know that you are capable of beating everybody in the league," Moore said. "We now know that. Now it's just a matter of can we go out there and do it three days in a row."
Davidson draws the No.1 seed for the SoCon tournament after sweeping ASU in the regular season.
Can't find what you're looking for?