UTC women make it back-to-back wins in their conference opener
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s basketball team started the Southern Conference slate Saturday afternoon with a 76-67 win over ETSU. The Mocs improve to 6-10 overall and 1-0 in SoCon action while the Bucs fall to 2-15 on the year and 0-1 in league play.
“What a great way to start SoCon play,” Chattanooga head coach Katie Burrows said. “I could not be more excited for our players. All of this hard work they have put in over the last couple of months, especially with a tough schedule. We’ve seen the best teams in the country, the best players in the country.”
Freshman Eboni Williams recorded her second straight double-double and third on the year with 17 points and 11 rebounds, both career-highs, in less than 20 minutes on the court. She was 7-of-12 from the field and drained a pair of 3-pointers. She added in two blocked shots and a steal.
“Double-doubles are never a bad thing, especially in less than 20 minutes,” Burrows said. “She was a different kid today in the sense that she played so much slower today. I think she has made the decision to slow down and stay under control. She had great tempo from the 3-point line and her effort on the boards was incredible.”
Lakelyn Bouldin was 9-of-10 from the free throw line and had a game-high 19 points with four rebounds and a pair of steals. Brooke Burns was the third Mocs player in double figures with 11 points, five rebounds and a season-high four assists. She was 3-of-6 from the floor with a 3-pointer and 4-for-6 from the free throw line.
Williams scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter and gave UTC its largest lead of the game at 64-53 with 7:22 to play. The Bucs responded, however, with a 8-0 run to cut the lead back to 64-61 on a layup from Lexus Spears with 4:44 to play. The two teams traded buckets with the Mocs holding a tenuous 66-63 advantage with just 2:29 to play.
ETSU was 1-of-4 from the floor over the final two minutes and made just one of two free throws.
Chattanooga was 10-of-12 from the charity stripe in that span. Bouldin hit for seven free throws and Burns had the remaining three.
Chattanooga pulled down a season-best 43 rebounds. The Mocs outscored the Bucs 19-3 off second chance points with 13 offensive boards.
ETSU’s bench, bolstered by Micah Scheetz’ game-high 19 points and Lexus Spears’ 13, outscored the Mocs 42-29. Spears added a team-best seven rebounds. Erica Haynes-Overton was held well below her season average 15.9 points per game with nine in the outing along with six rebounds. She is second in the nation with 4.4 steals per game but managed just two against the Mocs.
Chattanooga was 26-of-61 from the field and made 18-of-25 from the free throw line. It’s 76 points was the second most scored this season. The Mocs shot 53.3 percent from the field in the third quarter, pushing its lead to a then-game-best seven.
The win is the 57th against ETSU in 80 tries since the two programs began competition in 1975. The win is UTC’s 29th at home against the Bucs and 34th in Southern Conference action.
Chattanooga will remain home next week to host Wofford on Thursday, Jan. 17 in the first of a double-header with the men’s team. The game is set to tip off at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the McKenzie Arena box office or online at GoMocs.com.
The Terriers (10-7) have opened Southern Conference action with wins over Western Carolina and UNCG and are tied with Furman for the conference lead.