UTC Women Fall to Mercer in SoCon Tournament Opener
(gomocs.com) ASHEVILLE, N.C. — “Not the ending we were hoping for under such a crazy turnaround in our season.”
That was the sentiment expressed to the media by Chattanooga head coach Katie Burrows after falling 63-55 to Mercer in the quarterfinal round of the Southern Conference Tournament Thursday afternoon at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center.
UTC got off to a quick start with the first six points of the game, but Mercer stepped up and tied it briefly. The Mocs retook the lead but a 6-0 run by the Bears gave Mercer a 16-14 lead to end the opening quarter.
The Bears continued the push and led by as much as seven points in the second quarter behind six points from Amori Neal-Tysor.
Out of intermission, the Mocs played a much better second half firing for 53.8 percent in the third quarter with 18 points and following with a 17 point effort in the fourth.
“We all know the second half was much better than the first,” Burrows said. “For some reason, we just didn’t do a very good job early on moving the ball. Well, the first few possessions we did, and then we quit moving the ball and reversing it. That caused a little bit of a deficit for us at the half and obviously we were able to come out and create better in the second half.
Sophomore Abbey Cornelius scored nine of her team-high 15 points in the second half and led three Chattanooga players in double figures. She added 12 rebounds for her third double-double this year.
Eboni Williams was injured while taking a charge and left the game early in the fourth quarter. She was 7-of-14 in the game and had 14 points. Bria Dial added 13 points for the Mocs in the effort.
Amoria Neal-Tysor led all scorers with 23 points making 9-of-18 including the only 3-pointers the Bears made this season against the Mocs. However, Mercer’s free throw effort was much stronger, getting to the line 23 times and making 16.
Jaron Dougherty was 7-of-18 for the game and made all five of her free throws in the final period for 19 points. Jill Harris had a game-best four assists while Shannon Titus, held to just nine points, had a game-best four blocked shots and Summer Pahl led her team with seven rebounds.