CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Chattanooga continued its torrid shooting and canned a season-high 53.7 percent to outgun scrappy East Tennessee State, 88-72, on Tuesday (Jan. 2) at The McKenzie Arena.
The Lady Mocs won their third straight game to open the Southern Conference season and upped their overall mark to 9-3. ETSU, playing its 10th game away from home this season in 11 contests, falls to 1-11 overall and 1-2 in the league.
UTC never trailed in the game and pushed a 40-31 halftime lead to 76-46 with 6:49 left in the game. From that point, the Lady Bucs got hot behind the outside shooting of hometown product (Red Bank High School) Erin Thurman, who scored 17 points on 5-for-12 3-pointer. Thurman hit all five of her 3's in the final six minutes of the game. ETSU also had more offensive rebounds than UTC (20-15, fewer turnovers and more steals).
"ETSU won just about every statistical category that measures hustle," UTC coach Wes Moore said. "We can put up a lot of points, and performed well offensively, but we need to learn to play defense with more passion. Until we do that, we won't reach our potential."
Freshmen Miranda Warfield and Heather McDivitt again provided the offensive sparks. Warfield had a team-high 16 points and tied Jennifer Wilson for a team-best seven boards. McDivitt, getting her third straight start, scored a career-best 12 points and tied a career high with five caroms. Wilson added 14 points and Heather Dykes 10.
ETSU was led by Chris Forman's 20 points, and Jessica Lonon added 11.
UTC was 7-for16 on treys (43.8 percent), which was the most accurate long distance shooting in the last nine games. The 53.7 percent shooting overall was UTC's best since it hit 57.4 percent against Georgia Southern on Feb. 6, 2000.