UTC Women Beat Western Carolina to Snap 11 Game Losing Skid
(gomocs.com) CULLOWHEE, N.C. — The Chattanooga Mocs held off a late surge from Western Carolina to come away with a 59-52 Southern Conference women’s basketball victory Thursday night at the Ramsey Center.
“We did a lot good things to hold them to 52 points,” Chattanooga head coach Katie Burrows said. “I will say that we gave up some really good looks late in the game to them. We have to do a better job of executing.”
Lakelyn Bouldin led all scorers with 22 points and moved two more spots up the Mocs’ all-time scoring list to 16th with 1,288 points. She was joined in double figures by Bria Dial and NaKeia Burks who had 12 and 11 points respectively.
Chattanooga was able to thwart the Catamounts top scorer and rebounder, Jewel Smalls, for most of the game. She was held scoreless until midway through the fourth quarter when she hit a short jumper to make it a four-point game. Her only other basket, a 3-pointer with 3:24 to play, pulled the Cats to within three points. She ended the game with five points and eight rebounds.
Lauren LaPlant and Andrea Martin Ruiz led Western Carolina with 15 points apiece and combined for 13 of the Cats 18 fourth quarter points.
The Mocs largest lead, 37-26, came with 4:27 to play in the third quarter on a free throw from Dial but was cut to 39-33 heading into the final period. LaPlant made it even closer, 39-35, the closest the Catamounts had been since the second quarter, with a jumper with 8:27 remaining.
Two of Bouldin’s seven fourth quarter free throws put the Mocs back up 41-35 but Martin Ruiz answered with a driving layup, cutting the lead back to four. The teams traded buckets over nearly four minutes before Tembre Moates made the second of her two free throws for a 45-42 difference with 4:26 to play.
Pare Pene, who made her first collegiate start, gave UTC a little breathing room at 48-42 with a 3-pointer just moments later but Smalls 3-pointer, made a three-point game again.
Bouldin drew a foul on her layup at the 2:30 mark and sank the ensuing free throw to push it back out to a 51-45 lead. LaPlant again responded with a 3-pointer to make it 51-48 with 2:15 on the clock. Each time Chattanooga scored the Catamounts answered with one of their own until the final 20 seconds. Bouldin made all four of her free throw attempts and WCU missed its last three attempts to close out the game.
Bouldin was 9-of-10 from the free throw line and made 19-of-20 from the charity stripe over the last two games. She had three steals and five rebounds. Burks had seven boards and a team-high four assists while Dial snagged five steals. Abbey Cornelius had a team-best nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
Chattanooga scored 18 points on 18 WCU turnovers while giving up 11 on 16 miscues. The Catamounts outscored the Mocs 26-14 in the paint. Chattanooga was 18-of-51 from the field and 6-of-19 from the 3-point line while making 17-of-22 from the line.
Western Carolina shot 33.9 percent (20-of-59) and made six 3-pointers, below its average 7.8 per game, while making just six free throws on 10 tries.
The Mocs improve to 2-13 overall and are 1-0 in league play while the Catamounts fall to 3-13 on the year and 0-1 against the conference.
Chattanooga remains on the road to take on UNCG Saturday afternoon.