The Chattanooga women’s basketball team will head north to take on system-foe Tennessee Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. in Knoxville at Thompson-Boling Arena.
This will be the 24th meeting between the Mocs and Lady Vols dating back to 1975 when the two teams met three times with Tennessee winning each one. UTC has won just twice in the series. The Mocs snapped a 18-game losing skid to UTK in 2012 with a nine-point victory at the Roundhouse under former head coach Wes Moore. It was Holly Warlick’s first game as head coach. In 2014, Jim Foster led the Mocs to a four-point victory over a familiar foe, beating UTK 67-63 in Chattanooga.
Last time they met, the Mocs fell 91-41 to seventh-ranked Tennessee in non-conference action. The loss drops UTC to 2-12 overall and the Lady Vols improve to 11-1 on the year. Guard Amaria Pugh led the Mocs offensive effort with a season-high 17 points and freshman Destiny McClendon added nine. Each had a pair of 3-pointers and combined for 8-of-10 from the free throw line. The Mocs couldn’t get the ball to fall early, shooting just 12.5 percent (2-16) in the first quarter, but picked it up in the second making 5-of-13 (38.5%) and trailed 43-19 at halftime. For the game, UTC was 12-of-53 (22.6%) from the field and dropped in five from beyond the arc. At the free throw line, Chattanooga was 12-of-20.
Abbey Cornelius, a Knoxville native, had a team-best seven rebounds and Sigrun Olafsdottir dished out four assists and grabbed six boards while Lara Habling and Olafsdottir each had two steals. Habling came in late and scored four points in her four minutes on the court. She was fouled as Pugh made one of her 3-pointers in the fourth and converted her two free throw attempts. Besides offensive troubles, the Mocs found themselves hurting early on the defensive end with Cornelius getting called for a pair of fouls in the first and then another in the second.
Fellow post Leah Jones also had three by the half getting whistled for a pair in the opening period as well. Tennessee had three in double figures led by Tamari Key with 18. Alexis Dye dropped in 15 and Karoline Striplin added 12 with a team-best nine rebounds. The Lady Vols outrebounded UTC 56-14 and scored 15 second chance points on 16 offensive boards. UT dominated the paint 60-14 and scored 24 points of 21 UTC miscues.