(gomocs.com) GREENVILLE, S.C. — Chattanooga held off Furman in the fourth quarter to grab a 69-63 Southern Conference women’s basketball victory at Timmons Arena Thursday night. The Mocs (7-17) improve to 6-4 in league play.
Chattanooga had the advantage early when an administrative technical foul gave UTC a 2-0 lead on free throws from Lakelyn Bouldin before the game even tipped. The shot clock horn was not working in the pregame check giving the Mocs two shots. However, it was proved quickly in the game to work, sounding just as a shot was put up by Chattanooga moments into the game.
After the tip, the Mocs added five points to its lead before Furman’s Le’Jzae Davidson drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to 7-6 at the 7:18 mark of the opening quarter.
Chattanooga responded with a 12-0 run, however, sinking Furman further back to 19-6 with 3:56 left on the clock in the first. The Paladins got another trey from Davidson and four of its first 23 free throws to get to within six points, 19-13, with 17 seconds to go. The Mocs ran a quick play to get the ball down the court and Bouldin hit a 3-pointer from the corner to put UTC up 22-13 heading into the second.
The teams were fairly evenly matched on points in the second quarter with the Mocs adding three points to its lead and heading into halftime ahead 38-26.
Chattanooga added another four points to its lead after three quarters to go up 55-39 heading into the fourth. The Mocs allowed the Paladins just one field goal in the frame but Furman connected on 10-of-12 free throws.
The fourth quarter saw the Mocs lead dwindle to as much as four points twice. Chattanooga’s Eboni Williams connected on a pair of free throws to start the scoring in the fourth to give UTC its largest lead of the game at 57-39.
Furman went on a 10-2 run to make it a 10-point game, 59-49, with 6:45 to play. The Paladins put together another 10-2 run to get as close as four points, 63-59, with 1:48 remaining.
After a pair of free throws from Williams with 51 seconds on the clock, Furman called timeout to advance the ball and it paid off with a quick layup on the inbounds play to make it 65-61 with 43 seconds to play.
Bouldin was sent to the free throw line quickly and made both shots and Williams made two more to close out the game while Furman got just one more field goal before the final horn.
Abbey Cornelius lead four Chattanooga players in double figures with 16 points. She was 5-of-7 from the field and made both 3-pointers and all four free throw attempts while pulling down a team-best eight rebounds.
Bouldin moved from 13th on the Mocs’ all-time scoring list to ninth with 15 points on the night. She played all 40 minutes and was also perfect at the free throw line, making all four. She has 1,388 career points and is alone in fourth on the career charts at UTC with 215 3-pointers.
Williams added 13 points and seven rebounds along with a pair of blocked shots and steals. Bria Dial dropped in a team-best three 3-pointers for 12 points and had six rebounds. NaKeia Burks had a game-high seven assists, matching her career-high.
Chattanooga outscored Furman 26-14 in the paint and had 22 points off 20 Paladin mistakes. UTC gave up 10 points on 14 turnovers but had just four miscues in the second half. Furman outrebounded the Mocs 41-32 and had 12 second chance points on 15 offensive rebounds while UTC added 15 points on 10 off the offensive glass.
Davidson led all scorers with 22 points making 6-of-17 from distance. Lindsey Taylor added 11 points and Tierra Hodges had a game-high 14 rebounds. Milica Maojlovic added seven points and six assists.
The Mocs travel to Spartanburg, S.C., Saturday to take on first-place Wofford at Richardson Indoor Stadium. The game is set to tip off at 2:00 p.m.