University of Tennessee at Chattanooga basketball coach Wes MoorePhoto by Brett Clark
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Turnovers, fouls and missed free throws proved costly for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team in a 75-61 loss Monday night to Furman at Timmons Arena.
The defeat ended a 21-game win streak against the Paladins.
Entering the game UTC led the Southern Conference with a .757 free-throw shooting percentage. Against Furman, the Lady Mocs went 6-of-17 from the line. They also committed 21 fouls and turned the ball over 15 times.
"It takes momentum away from you," UTC coach Wes Moore said of missing free throws. "When you miss two free throws or the front end of a one-and-one, it just squeezes the energy out of you."
UTC (16-7, 11-3) dropped to third place in the league, two games behind leader Appalachian State, with six games remaining.
The Lady Mocs averaged only 12.8 fouls a game entering Monday's contest, but even before fouling a lot late to try to get back in the game they kept sending Furman (12-11, 8-6) to the line. The Paladins took advantage, hitting 25 of 32 free throws.
Furman's Teshia Griswold scored a game-high 22 points, while Kayla Christopher led UTC with 18 and Kylie Lambert scored 13.
At the end of a sloppy first half with 11 turnovers and 10 fouls, the Lady Mocs trailed 33-28. They were 6-of-14 from the free-throw line, while Furman went 11-of-14.
The Lady Mocs went on a run to start the second half, outscoring Furman 11-4 in the first three minutes. The Paladins then answered again, this time with a 12-0 run that gave Furman a 47-39 advantage.
Later in the period, Christopher hit a 3-pointer to cut Furman's lead to 59-56 with 6:22 remaining. The Paladins then built a cushion with an 8-0 spurt for a 67-59 lead during the next two-plus minutes.
UTC eventually had to start fouling and as they had done all night, the Paladins hit their free throws to beat the Lady Mocs for the first time since Feb. 11, 2002.
"I think Furman was hungry, and we're still not getting the little things done," Moore said.
The Lady Mocs are back in action Saturday against the College of Charleston at McKenzie Arena.