The Chattanooga women’s basketball team overcame a slow start at Eastern Kentucky Sunday afternoon, bouncing back to take the lead in the second half. However, it wouldn’t be enough as the Colonels held on in the final minutes for a 71-65 win. The Mocs fall to 1-8 overall and EKU improves to 5-2.

“That’s the most fire and grit I’ve seen from my team all season,” Chattanooga head coach Katie Burrows said “They gave us everything they had tonight but came up short.”

Eboni Williams recorded her fifth double-double of the season with a season-best 23 points and 11 rebounds. Also in double digits for the Mocs was Lakelyn Bouldin with 12 and NaKeia Burks with 10. EKU’s De’ayra Davis matched Williams with a game-high 23 points and Bria Bass added 17 points. I’Liyah Green pulled down a game-best 14 boards.

Chattanooga shot 60 percent in the second quarter and pulled to within two points to close out the half. UTC was down 30-23 with just over two minutes to play in the frame and outscored the Colonels 8-3 down the stretch to make it 33-31 at intermission.

Bouldin scored seven points in the quarter including a four-point play that cut the Colonel lead to 26-21, the closest UTC had been since early in the first. Dena Jarrells scored all six of her points in the period and left the game early in the third after going down on a cut.

Williams scored Chattanooga’s final six points in the half on an old-fashioned 3-point play and then draining a 3-point shot in the final minute.

Chattanooga continued its momentum into the third quarter and fired off four points to take its first lead of the game, 35-33 on a put back by Bouldin. The lead changed three more times with four ties and UTC held on to lead 45-44 at the end of the third.

Burks drained back-to-back 3-pointers to start the third, giving UTC it’s largest lead of the game, 51-44 less than two minutes into the final frame. EKU’s Davis drained a 3-pointer, but the Mocs’ Bria Dial answered with one more for UTC to make it 54-47.

The Colonels went on an 8-0 run over the next 2:10 to briefly retake the lead. The lead bounced back-and-forth four times over the next 3:24 before EKU got back out front and held on.

The Mocs didn’t make it easy, however. Eastern Kentucky led 65-59 with 52 seconds to play. Burks drew the foul and connected on both free throws to cut the lead to 65-61 with 46 seconds on the clock. Burks and Bouldin then pressed the inbounds play, forcing a turnover. Burks picked up the ball and fed it to Williams for a fast break layup, making it 65-63 with 39 seconds to play.

EKU scored the next six points and Williams added a layup in the final seconds to close the game.

Chattanooga was 24-of-63 from the field and made seven from the 3-point line. From the free throw line, UTC was 10-of-16 and out rebounded 46-34. In the paint, the Mocs edged the Colonels 32-28. UTC scored 17 points off 15 Eastern Kentucky turnovers and had a season-low 10 miscues resulting in nine points for EKU.

“This was a much brighter light for me,” Burrows said. “I hate losing and I’m not going to go in there with a smile on my face. They battled their hearts out tonight and still came up short. We’re going to figure out ow to not come up short in the next one.”

The Mocs will remain on the road with a trip to system foe UT Martin Sunday, Dec. 8. The game will tip at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Follow all the action online at GoMocs.com.