The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s basketball mounted first-half comeback for the second straight day, but came up short once again fallinig 60-55 to host Hawaii Saturday afternoon at the Stan Sheriff Center.
After trailing 26-11 with 8:08 to play in the first half, Chattanooga went on a 15-0 run to knot the game 26-26 at the half. UTC started the second half with a layup from junior Ka’Vonne Towns (Lilburn, Ga.) to extend the run to 17-0 and give the Lady Mocs their first lead of the game. However, Hawaii cut it off with back-to-back jumpers to go up 31-28 just two minutes into the latter period.
UTC retook the lead when Towns banked in a 3-pointer from high on the right to make it 33-32 with 17:20 to play. After Hawaii tied it up with a free throw, Towns put UTC on top again with an old-fashioned 3-point play to make it 36-33 with 14:32 to play.
Over the next 3:30, Hawaii would retake the lead for gold on a 12-0 run. Chattanooga snapped the scoring streak with a 3-pointer from freshman Chelsey Shumpert (Paducah, Ky.) who hit the first of her career-high three 3-pointers to make it 45-39.
Hawaii built its lead back up to 12 points, 51-39 with 6:46 to play and held onto a double lead for another two minutes before the Lady Mocs once again tried to mount a comeback.
Shumpert drained her third 3-pointer with 4:25 to play and Chattanooga capped off a 7-2 run on a trey from senior Taylor Hall (New Tazewell, Tenn.) to make it 57-55 with 1:31 to play. Hawaii would hold UTC scoreless over the final stretch, adding three more points for the final tally.
Hall recorded her second double-double of the year with 12 points and a career-best 16 rebounds. Towns scored a career-high 14 points in the loss with three steals while Shumpert topped her career-best for 3-pointers with three on the day.
Chattanooga shot 28.8 percent on the day making just 19-of-66 and was 5-of-24 (20.8%) from the 3-point line. However, UTC’s performance at the free throw line drastically improved with a 12-of-14 showing. In the paint, the Lady Mocs outscored Hawaii 28-24 and had 16 points off 16 Wahine turnovers. Chattanooga had 14 points off 13 offensive boards, but were outrebounded 44-39 by Hawaii. The Lady Mocs bench, led by Towns and Shumpert, by a 31-10 margin.
Kamilah Jackson had a double-double with a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds. Teammate Ashley Karaitiana also posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards while Destiny King was the third Wahine in double figures with 11 points.
This marks UTC’s third loss, all on the road and all tied at the half. Chattanooga falls to 4-3 on the year while Hawaii improves to 4-3. The Lady Mocs will take on Colorado State Sunday at 5 p.m. Eastern Time before heading to the airport to land in Atlanta, Ga., early Monday morning.