By Jackson Sparks, Assistant Sports Editor
Five seconds remained in the game as senior Lakelyn Boudlin, Spencer, Tenn., inbounded the ball to Abby Cornelius, Knoxville. The 6-foot-2 forward drove into the lane, attracting a crowd of defensive attention, then whipped a fastball to Bria Dial, Murfreesboro, Tenn. With a Wofford Terrier closing out quickly, Dial didn’t hesitate as she stepped into a three-pointer and drained it as the final buzzer sounded. Mocs 51, Terriers 49. Dial’s teammates swarmed her in victory.
“Boy… Bria, I joked with her that that she can’t hit a lay-up,” said Chattanooga head coach Katie Burrows. “But she sure can stroke a three with ice in her veins.”
As impressive as this game-winner was, it seemed improbable that Chattanooga would even get to this opportunity. They found themselves trailing 31-18 at the half-time break. Over the past couple of weeks, the women in navy blue and gold have proved to be a gritty bunch. This game would be no different.
The Mocs held the Terriers to a mere six third quarter points (on 7% shooting) and outscored them 20-12 in the final quarter, despite many of their key players being in foul trouble.
“They got stops when we needed them to. We held them to 31 at the half and that third quarter, the only points they really got were free throws,” said Burrows. “Do we need to stay more disciplined? yes. But sometimes that stuff just doesn’t go your way.”
Chattanooga completed the season sweep against the Terriers and now lead the all-time series 51-3. The tenacious rebounder Cornelius grabbed 11 boards to go along with her game-winning assist.
The Mocs women’s basketball team is now 7-4 in conference as they have come up on the winning side of things in four of their last five outings. This run started after their three-overtime victory over ETSU.
“We gutted it out and I am so excited for them to be able to get this win,” said Burrows. “The triple overtime win and then this are just big confidence boosts for us. It shows that we can hang in there and get the win.”
Chattanooga hosts Mercer in McKenzie Arena on Feb. 20. They’ll look to avenge the loss at Mercer in which they fell seven points short.