CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The Chattanooga women’s basketball team used halftime to regroup, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Mocs fell 66-34 to Purdue at the McKenzie Arena Thursday night.
“Transition defense was a huge issue for us tonight because we gave up 21 turnovers,” Chattanooga head coach Katie Burrows said. “You can’t have basket coverage when you turn the ball over at the top of the key. We are not expecting it, so we don’t get back to protect the basket. It is a whole vicious cycle. It starts with valuing the ball and not turning it over 21 times.”
Purdue scored 26 points off the Mocs miscues and UTC had nine on 17 forced turnovers by the Boilermakers.
Eboni Williams led the Mocs with eight points and a season-best 10 rebounds. Abbey Cornelius was held to just six points and four rebounds in her 30 minutes on the floor.
Senior NaKeia Burks had six rebounds, all on the offensive end of the court and Chattanooga had 11 second chance points on 23 offensive boards.
“We better be good offensive rebounders if we are going to shoot it that poorly,” Burrows said. “Thankful that we did at least try to give ourselves second opportunities and third opportunities.”
Chattanooga was 14-of-64 in the game and made 5-of-18 in the fourth quarter. UTC was just 3-of-17 from distance and made three free throws on six chances.
Chattanooga had its best quarter at the end, matching the Boilermakers point-for-point in the fourth even as Burrows cleared the bench. Lakelyn Bouldin scored all five of her points in the frame and the Mocs pulled down 23 of its season-high 40 rebounds in the second half.
Ae’Rianna Harris led all scorers with 16 points for Purdue and five rebounds. Dominique Oden was the only other Boilermaker in double figures with 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Purdue was 29-of-55 from the field and made four 3-pointers while shooting 4-for-6 from the charity stripe.
Purdue took control early with a 26-12 first quarter lead. After Chattanooga started out with a quick four points Purdue responded with a 22-5 run over the next six-plus minutes. The Boilermakers rolled its early game lead led at the half with a 41-14.
In the third quarter, it would take Purdue more than four minutes before finding its first basket and they would shoot just 5-of-14 in the period.
The Mocs fall to 1-3 overall and Purdue gets its second win in as many games. UTC will be on the road next week with a Tuesday matchup at Cincinnati followed by a game Thursday at No. 6 Louisville.