MORAGA, Calif. (UTC/WRCB) -- Ashlen Dewart and Kylie Lambert combined for 41 points to lead the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to its best start in more than a decade with a 68-59 win over Portland State on day one of the St. Mary's Thanksgiving Classic.
Dewart finished with 23 points and eight rebounds, while Lambert added 18 points and ten boards as the Lady Mocs improved to 4-0 for the first time since the 1999-00 season.
Dewart carried UTC through a rough start, scored 12 of the team's first 14 points. Portland State (3-1) led by as many as eight in the first six minutes, but hit a cold streak of their own to let Chattanooga catch up.
Lambert, who went 10-of-12 from the free throw line in the game, helped pick up the slack by scoring 13 of the Lady Mocs' next 21 points to open a 35-32 lead at the break.
Chattanooga opened the second half on a 17-7 run and led by as many as 13 with 13:05 to play. Portland State would twice cut the deficit to single digits, but could get no closer than eight points the rest of the way.
UTC shot just 34.9-percent from the field and made just 4-of-19 3-point attempts, but overcame its offensive struggles by forcing 26 Portland State turnovers and recording 19 steals.
Kayla Christopher finished with eight points to become the 25th member of the Lady Mocs' 1,000-Point Club. She also hit two 3-pointers to move into sole possession of fourth place on UTC's all-time career list with 171.
Chattanooga will face host St. Mary's on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET to wrap up the two-day event.