The Lady Mocs eventually accomplished some of their first-game goals.
Most importantly for coach Wes Moore, they won.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team shook off a poor first-half performance to prevail 55-40 over NAIA power Lee University in an exhibition Tuesday night in McKenzie Arena.
"I normally don't walk off the court with an opposing coach, but I told Marty [Rowe] that we set the game back about 10 or 20 years in the first half," Moore said. "It was pretty ugly. Maybe we can attribute it to having fans in the stands and the lights on. Whatever the reason, it was not a pretty game."
Senior center Whitney Hood led the Lady Mocs with 20 points and seven rebounds, while her teammates shot 4-of-18 from the 3-point line.
Kayla Christopher hit three treys and finished with 11 points, and sophomore Taylor Hall added 10 points and seven rebounds. Hollie German led the Lady Flames with nine points.
"You could tell we were nervous and had the first-game jitters," Hall said. "It took us a little bit to get warmed up."
The Lady Flames and Lady Mocs combined to miss 37 of 46 shots in the first half. They missed 18 3-pointers and had 19 turnovers at the break to reinforce Moore's quip to his counterpart.
"We got our feet wet, we have to get better on defense and we have until next Friday to work on some things," Hood said. "Being ready at the start of the game is one of them."
UTC, which opens its regular season next Friday against Alabama-Birmingham, owned a 26-10 lead at halftime.
Both teams played better early in the second half, and the Lady Flames climbed within 33-29 with 13:38 to play. But the Lady Mocs built leads of 11 and 10 points over the next seven minutes and never led by less than 11 in the final six minutes.
"We were trying to get everybody in there some," said Moore, who used nine players for at least 10 minutes each. "The idea was to get them out there and get them some playing time. Hopefully we can break down the film, show it to them and get better."