The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team lost by a single point, 63-62, to Minnesota in the first game of the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu on Friday.
The Mocs (4-2) trailed 18-4 six minutes into the game but kept battling. Sparked by Taylor Hall, they rallied for a 28-28 tie on a jump shot by Ashlen Dewart at the first-half buzzer.
The second half was close throughout, UTC taking its first lead at 31-30 on a Dewart free throw and its last advantage at 59-58 on a jumper by Hall, who had 19 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. Minnesota (6-1) scored the next five points, however.
A steal and layup by Hall cut that deficit to 63-61, and then Faith Dupree rebounded a missed shot by Minnesota's Rachel Banham. UTC called time out to set up a play, and Tatianna Jackson, who played a career-high 38 minutes, was fouled on a layup attempt with 1.5 seconds remaining. She hit the first shot, but her second attempt fell short and the Gophers' Banham grabbed the rebound.
Jackson scored 16 points, but the Mocs hurt themselves at the foul line, where they finished 9-for-16. Dewart and Dupree combined for 16 points and 14 rebounds while shutting down Amanda Zahui, who had two points for the Gophers. She did have 13 rebounds but no blocks after coming in averaging over four a game.
The Gophers were led by Banham's 36 points, including 11 of 12 free throws. Sari Noga and Kayla Hirt each had nine points.
UTC plays again tonight, against host Hawaii at 8:30 EST.
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.