It’s been a roller-coaster season for the Chattanooga women's basketball team. They’ve looked great in some games and not so great in others.
Such was the case this weekend in the final two home games of the year against North Carolina Greensboro.
The Lady Mocs played well on Friday as they cruised to a 57-41 victory over the Lady Spartans, but it was a totally different situation on Sunday.
The Spartans improved to 7-15 overall and 5-9 in the Southern Conference with the 58-50 victory, holding the lead for more than 29 minutes as Chattanooga played from behind most of the afternoon.
It was Senior Day as well where two players and a manager were honored and recognized for their contributions to the UTC program.
It was probably a game where senior Bria Dial would like to forget as she was held scoreless for only the second game this season after missing all 10 of her field goal attempts.
But on a day when nothing seemed to go right for the Lady Mocs, the Lady Spartans played with greater intensity and effort. Getting right down to it, the ladies from Greensboro just appeared to want it more.
UTC coach Katie Burrows has been looking for consistency all season. And while she’s found it more in recent games than at the beginning, there wasn’t much to be found on Sunday.
“I thought we were ready to play as we had a good warm-up and our attitude was good, but we just didn’t step up,” Burrows said after her team fell to 13-9 overall and 8-5 in the league.
“We knew they would shoot the ball better today than they did on Friday, but we can’t afford to shoot poorly, give them extra shots and expect to win. I hate it for our seniors.
“It was very frustrating for me on the sideline. Their zone defense killed us, but it’s hard when things aren’t going your way. I really don’t know what the problem was as our defense wasn’t all that bad, but we had an off-night shooting the ball,” Burrows added.
Greensboro missed all 14 of their shots from long range on Friday, but they sank six of 11 on Sunday, including five straight by senior Pernilla Sorensen, who scored 17 points.
The lead changed hands six times and the game was tied on nine occasions, the last time at 43-43 with 6:59 to play following a layup by Chattanooga’s Eboni Williams.
Sorensen scored the next 11 points, including three from long range, as the Lady Spartans used that run over a three-minute period to take control of the game.
Brooke Hampel canned a 3 with 3:04 to play to snap Chattanooga’s scoring drought and get her team within 54-46. Williams converted a left-handed layup 25 seconds later to get the Lady Mocs within six at 54-48, but the visitors finished the game by scoring four of the final six points to prevent any thought of a Chattanooga comeback.
Jaylynn Brown scored 22 points to lead Greensboro while Sorensen was next with 17.
Greensboro also won the rebound battle by a 44-40 margin after getting out-rebounded 48-28 two days ago. Khalis Cain led the winners with 13 boards, including six on the offensive end as the Spartans snagged 16 offensive rebounds.
Abbey Cornelius had an outstanding game for Chattanooga as she scored 17 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, but she didn’t have much help.
Hampel was next with 11 points while Williams finished with eight. Williams battled foul trouble most of the game and didn’t even score until the 3:50 mark of the third quarter.
Liz Wood, the only other senior on Chattanooga’s roster, got to start the game and played just over two minutes, making her only 3-pointer from the key with 8:10 left in the opening quarter.
While Chattanooga played its final home game on Sunday, the regular season will conclude with a game at East Tennessee State on Thursday.
UNC GREENSBORO 18 12 11 17 -- 58
CHATTANOOGA 13 15 10 12 -- 50
GREENSBORO (58) – Cain 2, Sorensen 17, Johnson 4, Crudup 6, Redmond 7, Izundu, Brown 22, Council.
CHATTANOOGA (50) – Williams 8, Cornelius 17, Olafsdottir 7, Wood 3, Dial, Pugh, Hill, Jarrells 2, Walker 2, Hampel 11.
FIELD GOALS: Greensboro 19 of 54 for 35.2 percent; Chattanooga 18 of 59 for 30.5 percent;
FREE THROWS: Greensboro 14 of 25 for 56.0 percent; Chattanooga 11 of 12 for 91.7 percent;
3-POINT GOALS: Greensboro 6 of 11 for 54.5 percent (Sorensen 5-5, Crudup 0-1, Brown 1-5); Chattanooga 3 of 20 for 15.0 percent (Williams 0-1, Cornelius 0-1, Olafsdottir 1-4, Wood 1-1, Dial 0-6, Pugh 0-1, Jarrells 0-2, Walker 0-1, Hampel 1-3);
REBOUNDS: Greensboro 44 (Cain 13, Crudup 8, Johnson 7); Chattanooga 40 (Cornelius 16, Walker 4, Hampel 4, Williams 4);
ASSISTS: Greensboro 7 (Crudup 4); Chattanooga 13 (Cornelius 3, Olafsdottir 3);
TURNOVERS: Greensboro 14 (Crudup 7); Chattanooga 15 (Cornelius 5);
STEALS: Greensboro 5 (five players with one each); Chattanooga 6 (six players with one each);
BLOCKS: Greensboro 6 (Cain 5); Chattanooga 1 (Walker);
(Email John Hunt at email@example.com)