By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – With a win in the books to open the 2021-22 campaign, the Tennessee Tech women's basketball team will be back in action on Saturday night, looking to derail Chattanooga as the Mocs come to the Eblen Center.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday to close out the Homecoming festivities. Dylan Vazzano and Frank Harrell will provide the call on ESPN+ (subscription required) and Roger Ealey will handle radio duties on 106.1 FM The Eagle.
Like the Golden Eagles, Chattanooga opened the season Tuesday night, falling to Ohio Valley Conference foe Belmont, 88-70. The Mocs had a trio of double-digit scorers as Brooke Hampel and Abbey Cornelius both scored 16 points in the loss, while Sigrun Olafsdottir had 11.
Belmont took 30 3-point attempts in the contest, knocking down 12 as Madison Bartley had three for nine of her game-high 21 points. Destinee Wells was 1-for-7 from downtown, but finished with 20 points as Tuti Jones and Conley Chinn each had 10 points.
The Mocs tried to counter from long range, but finished with a 3-for-17 effort beyond the arc. Hampel was 2-for-7, while Olafsdottir had the other completion, going 1-for-2 from 3.
Chattanooga, however, was able to draw fouls, earning 24 shots at the charity stripe as the Bruins were whistled 26 times with a disqualification for Chinn, while Wells and Jamilyn Kinney were in foul trouble with four each. The Mocs finished the game with a 13-for-24 effort at the line, shooting 54.2 percent, while Belmont was a shade lower at 53.3 percent on 8-for-15 shooting.
Belmont was able to steal the ball 11 times and force 15 turnovers to disrupt Chattanooga's offense. The Mocs were 27-of-59 from the field, Belmont 34-for-70.
The Golden Eagles, meanwhile, cruised to an 85-46 victory over Bethel on Tuesday night, powered by a career-high night for Anna Walker – a Chattanooga transfer – with 22 points on 8-for-10 shooting and 4-for-4 at the free-throw line. Jada Guinn tied her career-high in assists with seven, while Anna Jones had 10 rebounds.
Tech shot well from the field, knocking down 30 of its 71 shot attempts and was 17-of-21 from the free-throw line. The defense forced Bethel into 16 turnovers, which the Golden Eagles converted into 21 points.
Tech is 21-7 all-time against Chattanooga in a series that dates back to the beginning of the varsity era, winning three of the last five games and eight of the last 11. The Mocs won 76-65 last season in Chattanooga, but it was Tech's first game of the 2020-21 campaign, coming off of a COVID pause to delay the start of the season.
Eboni Williams – Chattanooga's top scorer in last year's meeting with 14 points – is still on the roster, but has not seen action in the Mocs' first two games this season. Hampel had 12 points and six rebounds last season, while Cornelius had seven boards. Kesha Brady scored 26 points in the contest, while Mackenzie Coleman had 17. The Golden Eagles led 17-10 after the first quarter, but went cold in the second and third quarters, going a combined 5-for-30 from the field in that span. Tech outscored UTC 26-17 in the fourth quarter, but was unable to close the gap.
Season tickets and single-game tickets for Tennessee Tech basketball are on sale now. Call (931) 372-3940, visit the Eblen Center ticket office or visit TTUsports.com to order.
Photo | Jim Dillon