Saturday afternoon’s bout between the Cleveland State Lady Cougars and Chattanooga State Lady Tigers had all the makings of a high-energy, neck-and-neck contest.
Unfortunately for the Lady Cougars (12-11, 5-9), it was the Lady Tigers’ (8-13, 5-9) neck that stuck out just a bit further in a 74-72 game.
On a day honoring their sophomore players, it was sophomore Leisa Butler who led Cleveland State in scoring with a total of 22 points.
Abby Hubert had 19 points and sophomore JaTasha Hollinger rounded out the Lady Cougars’ double-digit scoring with 12 points, which included a pair of 3-pointers.
The first quarter set the stage for the game, as the two teams found themselves tied at 15 points after 10 minutes. Chattanooga State outshot Cleveland State 27-18 in the second quarter to take a 42-33 lead into halftime.
Unwilling to just roll over, the Lady Cougars battled back in the third quarter to cut their deficit to just six points, 54-48.
The fourth quarter proved to be the most action-packed of the game, with Cleveland State putting up 24 points to Chattanooga State’s 20. With 3:36 left in the game, Hollinger sank a 3-pointer to leave her team down by just one point, 63-62. The Lady Tigers maintained that one-point lead for the next minute, until a 3-pointer of their own gave them a four-point lead. Butler cut that lead to just two points 30 seconds later.
Four trips to the free throw line in the final 90 seconds of the game proved to seal the win for Chattanooga State, as they picked up another seven points to Cleveland State’s five. Down 74-69 with just seconds left on the clock, Butler sank a text book 3-pointer right before the buzzer, to cut the deficit to two points.
Three Lady Cougars were honored after the game for sophomore recognition night, Catherine Davis, Butler and Hollinger.
The Lady Cougars play one final game at home this season, hosting Roane State on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.