The Chattanooga women’s basketball team got off to a hot start Sunday afternoon, but couldn’t hold off the Skyhawks as UT Martin defeated the Mocs 78-51 at the Elam Center.
The Mocs got off to a 12-0 start, denying the UTM offense throughout much of the first quarter. Less than four minutes into the game Chattanooga was 4-of-5 from the field with 3-pointers from Bria Dial and Lakelyn Bouldin and had four defensive stops while drawing a pair of fouls.
UTM, 3-5, snapped its scoring drought with a quick jump shot but the Mocs responded with five points, four from sophomore Abbey Cornelius, to stretch its lead to 17-2 with less than three minutes to play in the opening frame.
However, five points from the Skyhawks to close out the period cut the Mocs’ lead to 17-10.
UT Martin continued its run into the second quarter, holding the Mocs scoreless for nearly four minutes for a 16-0 run to start the second quarter. UT Martin led 37-26 at intermission.
“They weren’t pressing us in the first quarter,” Chattanooga head coach Katie Burrows said of the difference in the two periods. “We prepare for this and that is the most frustrating thing about it. We got better at it this week and we were handling it in practice. As soon as they turned up the heat, we lost our minds.
“Part of that too, was that when we did get it in the half court set we stopped moving the ball like we did in the first quarter. We were getting great looks because we were moving the ball around and were able to get paint touches and get our feet set. I just don't know why we throw all of that out the window when the pressure starts coming."
Abbey Cornelius paced the Mocs with her first career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. She was 5-of-8 from the free throw line and had three steals. Lakelyn Bouldin led UTC with 14 points, making 3-of-7 from distance and had two blocked shots. Eboni Williams added 10 rebounds and Bria Dial chipped in 10 points.
Chelsey Perry and Damiah Griffin combined for 43 of the Skyhawks 78 points. Perry had a game-high 24 points on 10-of-19 and eight rebounds. She dished out four assists and had three steals while Griffen was 9-of-19 with 19 points and eight boards.
Chattanooga shot 75 percent from the free throw line making 18-of-24 attempts. However, turnovers caused trouble for the Mocs who saw UTM score 29 points off 28 miscues. UTC was edged on the boards 37-32.
The Mocs shot 32.6 percent from the field and dropped in five 3-pointers. Freshman Dena Jarrells had five points for UTC in nearly 16 minutes on the court and NaKeia Burks had a team-best three assists.
The Mocs, 1-9, will head to Brookings, S.D., to take on South Dakota State on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Follow all the action online at GoMocs.com.