The Chattanooga women’s basketball team lost its first-half lead in the third quarter, dropping its season-opener 78-58 to UAB at the McKenzie Arena Sunday afternoon. UAB improved to 2-0 on the year and the Mocs are 0-1.
”That’s a really good program and they had a lot of new faces this year,” Chattanooga head coach Katie Burrows said. “I think we have to have the same fire from the tip and we started off strong. Then some time didn’t quite go our way and then we got in some foul situations and we let it affect us. We’ll get there.”
Bria Dial led Chattanooga with 20 points, making 7-of-13 from the field including three 3-pointers. She added three rebounds and two blocked shots. Abbey Cornelius was 3-of-5 from the field with seven points, three blocked shots and four rebounds and Kallie Searcy had six off the bench.
UTC was 23-of-56 for the game while UAB, with a second half surge, shot 39.3 percent for the game.
The Mocs held the Blazers to just 5-of-27 from the field in the first half, 14.3 percent shooting in the second quarter, to take a 25-23 lead into the locker room at the half. However, UAB got nine of its first half points from the charity stripe.
The Mocs stretched the lead to 27-23 to start out the third quarter, but UAB quickly tied it 27-27 less than a minute later then dropped in a pair of 3-pointers to push its lead to 33-27.
Dial responded with a trey to cut the lead back to three. Eboni Williams got the steal to send it back Chattanooga’s way and Dial was fouled on an offensive rebound. Her pair of free throws cut the lead down to 33-32.
UAB responded with an 8-0 run behind 3-pointers from Margaret Whitley and Maddie Walsh for its largest lead of the game to that point, 41-32.
Coming out of the time out, the Mocs set up a play for Pare Pene and she connected on the 3-pointer to make it 41-35, but UAB would again take over, leading 50-38 heading into the final quarter.
In the final period, the Mocs put up its largest numbers with 20 points. Seven players, led by Dial’s five points, scored in the fourth.
UAB was led by Whitley who had a game-high 34 points that included five 3-pointers. Caitlyn Daniels added 11 points and LaMiracle Sims had nine points and eight rebounds.
Up next for Chattanooga is a road trip to Troy, Ala., to take on the Trojans early Wednesday afternoon. Follow all the action online at GoMocs.com.