Three Chattanooga Mocs scored in double figures Friday afternoon to come away with a 76-65 win over Tennessee Tech in women’s basketball action at the McKenzie Arena. UTC improved to 1-2 overall and TTU drops to 0-1 in its season opener.
Junior Eboni Williams led the Mocs with 14 points, Brooke Hampel added 12 and Bria Dial was the third UTC player in double digits with 10 points. Abbey Cornelius had a team-best seven rebounds and two blocked shots.
Williams was 5-of-9 with a 3-pointer and a trio of free throws in 23 minutes on the court despite late foul trouble.
“I think I set the tone pretty early with her in getting in foul trouble the first two games and sitting her down,” Chattanooga head coach Katie Burrows said of Williams who was in foul trouble for the third time. “She just needed to understand that she can play a little more freely but also has to play a little bit smarter. She does so many good things for us and we need her to be on the floor.”
Hampel, who sat out last season after transferring from UMKC, found her range and went 6-of-11 from the field while grabbing six rebounds. ”She was timid the first game we played against UAB and then did a few good things in the second half and some more good things at Troy,” Burrows said. “Today, she just went in there and did her thing. I didn’t have to force it out of her. I think she’s comfortable now.”
Tennessee Tech led by as much as 11 points in the opening frame, getting out to an 8-0 lead to start the game. With 4:29 to play in the first, Jada Guinn gave the Golden Eagles a 14-3 lead on a short jumper. The Mocs cut into the lead on a 7-0 run, making it a 14-10 game. A 3-pointer in the final minute put TTU back up by seven at the end of the first.
UTC got back-to-back baskets from Hampel and Dena Jarrells to make it a 3-point game. Mackenzie Coleman converted a three-point play, giving Tech a six-point cushion less than two minutes into the frame.
Anna Walker grabbed a missed shot by TTU and Kallie Searcy hit a short jumper to spark a 15-0 run over the 6:06 that put the Mocs out front for good. Williams capped off the scoring spree with a layup for a 29-20 lead with 1:56 to play in the half.
Sigrun Olafsdottir drained a 3-pointer in the closing minute to give UTC a 36-27 lead heading into the locker room. The Mocs expanded their lead in the third quarter outscoring the Golden Eagles 23-12 behind six points each from Williams and Hampel. Jarrells fed Morgan Hill from across the court to a 3-pointer as the third quarter closed to give UTC its largest lead of the game to that point, 59-39.
Tennessee Tech called a quick timeout to start the fourth quarter after Cornelius grabbed her own rebound and got a put back to make it 61-42. The Golden Eagles turned up the pressure after that, forcing a few turnovers and converting that into points, cutting into the Mocs’ lead. However, TTU would only get as close as 70-61 with 2:31 to play.
Keisha Brady and Coleman combined for 43 of the Tech points. Brady led all scorers with 26 points and Coleman added 17. The pair combined for 15-of-17 from the free throw line. Brady had a game-best eight rebounds, grabbing six off the offensive glass.
The Mocs outscored TTU 42-18 in the paint and 37-8 on bench points. The teams were even on points off turnovers with 18. The Mocs committed 19 to the Golden Eagles’ 16. UTC outrebounded Tech 41-36 but the Golden Eagles converted 15 offensive boards into 12 points while Chattanooga scored 11 points off 14.
UTC shot 47.4 percent for the game and were a scoring 9-of-11 (81.1%) in the second quarter. UTC held the Golden Eagles to 3-of-16 (18.8%) in the second quarter and 2-of-14 (14.3%) in the third.
The teams, who had not met since 2005 in a Las Vegas tournament, had originally cancelled the game slated for November 29, but were able to reschedule. UTC is now 6-18 all-time against TTU with all six wins occurring at home.
The Mocs are in the midst of an eight-game schedule over 16 days after getting off to a late start due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chattanooga remains at home to host Vanderbilt Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Follow all the action online at GoMocs.com.