The Mocs briefly fluttered upward during in their matchup against the Purdue Boilermakers,
leading 4-2 after a little under two minutes. The Mocs were able to get the Boilermakers on a
few back-cuts, and their defense looked lively.
But by the end of the 66-34 Purdue blowout, there was no doubt who the better team was in
McKenzie Arena. The Mocs brief flight crashed under the weight of Purdue’s superior
athleticism and size, having more turnovers than made baskets.
“We got to put the ball in the hole, and we got to take care of the ball,” said head coach Katie
Burrows, “If we take care of the ball, then we don’t give up 26 points off of 21 turnovers.
Transition defense was a huge issue for us because we gave up 21 turnovers. You can’t have
basket coverage when you turn the ball over at the top of the key.”
UTC’s hot start was not a sign of things to come, as Purdue promptly clamped down on UTC’s
shooters and eventually waltzed into halftime leading 41-14, a score that could have been even
more expansive if not for a rash of Purdue turnovers.
The Mocs showed resilience throughout however, their effort never being in question. UTC
even held Purdue to only six points in the first five minutes of the third quarter. UTC forced four
turnovers during this stretch before the media timeout.
“We made a couple of tweaks here and there, but it was just that they just decided they were
going to have to do something different,” said coach Burrows, “I just wish it hadn’t taken them
that long to decide that. They did a good job of coming out in the second half and strapping on
their big-girl pants and taking care of business.”
But great defensive effort will only go so far. A cursory look at the stat-sheet reveals a truly
ghastly shot chart for Chattanooga. The normally accurate Lakelyn Bouldin was 2-15 and did not
register a basket until the fourth quarter. Eboni Williams tore down 10 boards, but she also
struggled from the field and shot 3-17. The high-scoring Abbey Cornelius was even held to six
points on 3-10 from the field.
“I’ve got to figure out how to prepare them better, how to get more intense practices going,”
said coach Burrows, “As far as the defensive side of things, when people are pressuring us, I’ve
got a lot of work to do to make my team better.”
As a team, the Mocs dished out four assists and gave away 21 turnovers to the Boilermakers, who were able to make the Mocs pay in the open court. Chattanooga did display grit under the rim, grabbing a whopping 23 offensive boards over the course of the night.
“With our team, we don’t have to coach effort, and I think that’s the most important thing. We
just gotta finish” said senior Nakeia Burks, who pulled down six offensive boards, “But effort-
wise, we’re fine. That’s what’s going to keep us on the positive side of the spectrum.”
The road does not get any easier for coach Burrows and the Lady Mocs. They travel to
Cincinnati to play the Bearcats, before going down to Louisville to do battle with the ninth-
ranked team in the nation.
“You just keep on plugging,” said coach Burrows, “You watch a lot of film, and you try to show
them various ways we can improve on both sides of the floor.”