CHARLESTON, S.C. - The College of Charleston women's basketball team played a competitive first half, but went on a long scoring drought to start the second period as they fell against Chattanooga 73-58 Saturday at TD Arena.
The Cougars (11-13, 7-8) trailed the first eight minutes of the game, but then senior Cathryn Hardy connected on a three-pointer to put the Cougars up 14-13 in the early going.
Chattanooga (22-3, 15-1) led by as many as six in the first half at 26-20 at the 7:17 mark. The Cougars closed the gap with three-pointers by Tolbert and Frye and went in the locker room at halftime in a 39-39 tie with the Mocs.
The Mocs opened the second half on a 6-0 run in the first two minutes. The Cougars scored their first points of the second half on a jumper by Harris, but then went on an a stretch where they did not score for eight minutes and six seconds as Chattanooga went on a 9-0 run to push their lead to 16 at 62-46 with 8:03 remaining in the game.
After a media timeout the Cougars responded and went on an 8-0 run of their own to trim the Mocs lead to eight at 62-54 with 4:55 left to play. During the stretch the Cougars got back-to-back layups from Harris and converted 4-of-4 from the free-throw line.
In a game that featured six ties and 10 lead changes, the Cougars would not get any closer as Ashlen Dewart, who led the Mocs with 24 points scored to push their lead to 10. The Mocs made all of their free-throws in the final minute of play to secure the victory.
Up next the Cougars host Samford Monday at 7:00 p.m. at TD Arena.
COFC HEAD COACH NATASHA ADAIR
On the game
"I thought we approached the game well. Chattanooga is a good team. We knew they were going to try to get the ball inside, but they are balanced. I thought the first half we matched their energy and answered everything they threw out. I thought we created a tempo that was conducive to how we wanted to play."
On the second half
"When we came out of the locker room they go on a 6-0 run, which got us back on our heels. I'm still wondering why. To beat a good team you can't have empty possessions. We didn't finish around the rim and didn't shoot as well from the free-throw line as we have in the last couple of games. I was disappointed in our second half effort, but not in our overall fight.
On looking ahead to next game
"We don't have time to linger. Monday we have another tough game against Samford. We have another opportunity to avenge this loss. Everything right now matters. Positioning matters and each game means something. We will get back in the gym and address some of the issues from today, but we have to move forward. We will be ready for Samford on Monday."