Mocs women fall short against Western Carolina

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC Athletics) — The Chattanooga women’s basketball team rallied late to pull within two points of Western Carolina but fell 61-53 in Southern Conference action on a snowy Saturday afternoon at the McKenzie Arena.

“I told you guys my kids are never going to quit,” Chattanooga head Katie Burrows said. “We just decided to amp it up a little bit too late. They really gave great effort in the second half. We had so many missed layups and I don’t know if that’s mechanical or what, but that hurt us.”

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Chattanooga rallied from an 11-point deficit at the half to get to within two points with just more than two minutes remaining in the game.

The third quarter saw the Mocs get back into the game, cutting the WCU lead to single digits. That push continued into the fourth but UTC could never get the lead.

Bria Dial scored 13 points in the third quarter making the Mocs’ first 10 points and was 3-of-4 from the arc in the period. Lakelyn Bouldin closed out the frame draining three free throws with half a second on the clock.

The Mocs started the fourth quarter trailing 47-39. Abbey Cornelius capped off an 11-2 run with a pair of free throws to pull the Mocs to within three points, 51-48 with 4:57 on the clock. Western Carolina stretched its lead back to five points twice before NaKeia Burks connected on a 3-pointer to make it a 55-53 game with 2:06 remaining.

Cornelius got a block on the other end and the defensive rebound, but a steal by the Catamounts resulted in a 3-pointer from Alyssa Walker, pushing the lead back to five, 58-53. Chattanooga put WCU on the line twice at the end that resulted in three more points for the Cats.

Dial led all scorers with 20 points, making 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Eboni Williams was the other Chattanooga player in double figures with 12 points and a team-high tying seven rebounds. Cornelius added seven points, seven boards and a career-high five blocked shots.

The Catamounts shot 51.1 percent from the field and were 7-of-17 from the arc and were 6-of-8 from the free throw line. The Mocs shot 30.9 percent (17-55) from the field and were 6-of-24 from range.

“When we spread the floor and made them guard us out there, we were able to get to the rim and get fouled,” Burrows said. “Free throws kept us in the game because we did make those.”

Chattanooga made 13-of-15 from the free throw line, 10 coming in the second half.

Tembre Moates led four Catamounts in double figures with 14 points and seven rebounds. Lauren LaPlant and Judith Martin Ruiz each added 13 and Adrea Martin Ruiz had 10 points and six assists for WCU.

Both teams had 31 rebounds with UTC scoring 14 points on 11 offensive boards and 14 on turnovers.

Western Carolina improved to 5-19 on the year and 2-7 against the league.

The Mocs (6-17) will travel to Furman for a Thursday night matchup in Greenville, S.C. The teams are tied for fourth in the SoCon standings at 5-4.

Follow all the action online at GoMocs.com.

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Angela joined the News 12 team in November of 2017 as the weekend sports anchor and reporter. Angela is a proud member of an Army family, which means she has hometowns all over the Eastern Seaboard. Most recently, she calls Peachtree City, Georgia, home, where she graduated from Trinity Christian School and spent her free time driving her purple golf cart. She then headed to Milledgeville, Georgia, to attend Georgia College and State University. A proud Bobcat, Angela graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Mass Communication and represented her December 2016 class as one of three valedictorians. Angela comes to the Scenic City from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where she worked at the NBC affiliate, WMBF News. Before the big move, she worked as Georgia College's Sports Information Assistant, which let her get paid to be the Bobcats' biggest fan. It all started in Savannah, Georgia, though, where she interned for SAV's number one station, WTOC. When she's not working, you can find Angela watching the New York Giants, Rangers or basically any other game that's on. She also loves traveling, hiking and exploring new places, all with her camera in hand. If you have any story ideas, big or small, feel free to reach out to her on Facebook and Twitter, or email her at amoryan@wdef.com."