The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s basketball team fell 71-60 to Samford Thursday evening at the McKenzie Arena in Southern Conference action. Both teams are 7-6 on the year with Samford remaining undefeated at 4-0 in league play and the Mocs move to 2-2.
Abbey Cornelius and Eboni Williams combined for their first double-double since UTC’s triple-overtime win at ETSU last year. Cornelius led Chattanooga with a season-high 18 points and 15 rebounds. Williams had 10 points and 13 rebounds along with a season-high tying three steals and two assists.
Bria Dial and Dena Jarrells each added nine points and Sigrun Olafsdottir chipped in eight. Jarrells and Olafsdottir combined for 13 of UTC’s 17 assists.
The Mocs and Bulldogs traded the first four baskets of the game, but three of Samford’s buckets were from beyond the arc. By the time UTC called for time in the first quarter, the Bulldogs were leading 21-10 behind nine points from Andrea Cournoyer who finished with a game-high 26 points.
Following the timeout, the Mocs responded, outscoring Samford 21-11 over the final half of the first quarter and into the first half of the second quarter to get to within a point at 32-31 with 4:45 to play in the half. Chattanooga got scoring from six different players with Cornelius leading the way with six.
Samford held UTC scoreless the rest of the half and led 42-31 at the break on a 10-0 run.
The third quarter saw the Mocs with a pair of runs to get their first lead of the game. UTC started the third on a 10-0 run to make it 42-41 in Samford’s favor at the 6:10 mark. After the Bulldogs responded with six straight points to get back out front 48-41, UTC got buckets from its top three and took a 49-48 lead on a steal and fast break from Williams.
The lead changed hands twice on the next few minutes before Samford took control of the game and went on to get its fourth SoCon win and remain atop the league standings.
“I would say we did a good job for a while in keeping them from getting the shots that they wanted,” Burrows said. “We had too many blown coverages when it got tight. I told them when things get tight, that’s when you have to gel even more. There are certain things that can’t happen when you are trying to dig yourself out of a hole. You don’t have that margin for error. That killed us, giving them second opportunities.”
The Mocs edged the Bulldogs 39-38 on the boards but Samford had 15 offensive boards that resulted in nine points, while UTC scored eight second chance points on 10 offensive rebounds. The teams were even in the paint with 30 points apiece and the Mocs scored 15 points off 17 Samford turnovers.
Chattanooga was 23-of-65 (35.4%) in the game, making just one shot on 17 attempts in the fourth quarter. However, it was the final frame where UTC eventually made it to the free throw line and made 9-of-10. Jarrells dropped in three of UTC’s five 3-pointers with Dial and Olafsdottir knocking down the other two.
Samford was 26-of-60 for the game and 9-of-22 from range while making all 10 of their attempts from the charity stripe. Cournoyer led four players in double figures. Raven Omar was 5-of-5 from the free throw line with 14 points. Annie Ramil posted a double-double with 10 points and a team-high 12 rebounds while Natalie Armstrong added 10 points in the post.\
The two teams will tip it up again Saturday in a revamped Southern Conference schedule. Due to COVID-19 protocols, the women’s game will start at 5:00 p.m. after the men’s game versus UNCG at Noon.