Mocs' rally falls short as Ohio hands them their 11th straight loss
The Chattanooga women’s basketball team pulled to within a bucket late in the third quarter, outscoring Ohio 16-8 in the period, but could not get past the Bobcats, falling 70-58 Sunday afternoon at the McKenzie Arena in UTC’s final non-conference game of the season.
"The fight was there,” Chattanooga head coach Katie Burrows said. “There are very few games where I would say my kids have given up; they're never going to do that. They're going to keep fighting. I just felt like every time we would chip away and get within a couple points, we'd give up a couple fast break opportunities or didn't match up.
“If we could just get the ball to go in, we could put some more pressure on them. When you get within a few points, you have to buckle down. You just have to."
The Mocs put up five quick points to start the third, starting with a Lakelyn Bouldin 3-pointer from the right corner. NaKeia Burks’ layup made it a 39-33 game with 6:20 to play in the quarter. Ohio responded with five to push the lead back to 11 points, 44-33, but Chattanooga ran the rest of the way, outscoring Ohio 11-3 to make it a 47-44 game at the end of the third quarter.
The two teams traded 3-pointers at the start of the fourth but a 17-2 run gave the Bobcats another double-digit lead, 67-49 with 3:21 on the clock. The Mocs put up the next nine points, including five free throws, but couldn’t get any closer.
Bouldin led the Mocs with 19 points. She had a season-best nine rebounds and was 10-of-10 from the free throw line. That is third best for the Mocs in a game for most made free throws without a miss. Shanara Hollinquest (’10) holds the record at 14-14 against Samford in the 2010 Southern Conference Tournament.
Eboni Williams moved to center for the game and pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds. She added eight points and Bria Dial added 11 points, matching her best field goal effort making 5-of-12, and had six rebounds. Pare Pene was 3-of-7 from the field and had a career-high seven points and NaKeia Burks had a game-high five assists and chipped in six points.
The Mocs were 20-of-55 from the field and outrebounded the Bobcats 40-38. However, 22 UTC miscues led to 28 points for Ohio and the Bobcats edged UTC 32-28 in the paint.
“It seemed like every time we turned the ball over, they capitalized on it, and we turned it over a lot,” Burrows said. “I keep telling them that at some point they have to take some responsibility over that. We only had six fewer shots than they did and we had 22 turnovers.”
Chattanooga will have time off to prepare for the upcoming Southern Conference season which begins January 9 at Western Carolina.
"The hope is that since we have played such tough competition, that once we get into Southern Conference play, we play at a higher level against our opponents,” Burrows said. “That's why we don't typically play a fluff schedule.”