(gomocs.com) CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The Chattanooga women’s basketball Mocs fell 63-50 at Belmont in the season opener for both teams Wednesday night.
Belmont (1-0) used an 11-1 run in the fourth quarter to open up its largest lead of the game, 59-45 with 5:00 to play.
“I am looking at the stat sheet and everything on here suggests that we gave ourselves a chance to win the ballgame,” head coach Katie Burrows said. “They shot a few more free throws than we did, in fact they made four more points off free throws. We actually got four more shots off than they did, they just made four more than we did.”
The Mocs were 19-of-56 from the field and made 7-of-19 from long range. Belmont had 23 makes on 52 attempts and dropped in eight from long range. At the charity stripe, UTC was 5-of-7 and Belmont made 9-of-11.
Sophomore Pare Pene drained a 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter to close out a 7-0 UTC that spanned two periods, cutting Belmont’s 11 point advantage late in the third quarter to 48-44 at the start of the fourth.
However, Ellie Harmeyer made the first of three 3-pointers by Belmont, sparking an 11-1 run to put her team back up by double digits.
Lakelyn Bouldin led the Mocs with a team-best 21 points. She was 3-of-4 from long range and 4-of-5 from the free throw line. NaKeia Burks had 12 first half points for the Mocs, a career-best for the fifth-year senior. She was 5-of-8 from the field and had two 3-pointers.
“Lakelyn did what Lakelyn does.” Burrows said. “She scored 21 points and got a couple of rebounds. Nakeia actually produced more offense than we had been expecting out of her and that was excellent. She shot the ball well and she took care of the ball.”
Abbey Cornelius had nine points in the game with a team-best seven rebounds. Pene had three points and three assists and no turnovers while freshman Dena Jarrells led Chattanooga with four assists.
Harmeyer led all scorers with 22 points and 20 rebounds. Conley Chinn was the only other Belmont player in double digits with 12 points. She added five rebounds and four assists. Kiki britzmann and Maura Muensterman each contributed nine points.
The Mocs forced 16 turnovers scoring 10 off the miscues while giving up eight points on 13 turnovers. The Bruines outrebounded UTC 41-27 and had 26 points in the paint compared to Chattanooga’s 16.
Saturday will be UTC’s home opener. The Mocs will host Hampton in the first game of a double header with the men’s team who will take on Tennessee State. The game is set to tip off at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available online at GoMocs.com or at the McKenzie Arena box office.