The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team lost its season opener Wednesday night at Belmont University in Nashville, 63-50, as the Bruins pulled away in the final nine minutes.
A Pare Pene 3-pointer two minutes into the final quarter put the Mocs within 48-44, but Ellie Harmeyer and Maura Muenstermann hit back-to-back 3-pointers to ignite an 11-1 run for Belmont over the next three minutes and secure the win.
Harmeyer led Belmont with 22 points and 20 rebounds, while senior guard Lakelyn Bouldin topped the Mocs with 21 points, followed by NaKeia Burks with 12 on 5-of-8 shooting. Abbey Cornelius with seven rebounds and two steals and Dena Jarrells with four assists also led the Mocs. Cornelius also scored nine points.
"We gave ourselves every opportunity to win that ballgame and just did not put the ball in the hole. That is the bottom line," UTC coach Katie Burrows said.
"Part of the issue was our spacing was poor. We were playing a little bit too fast early on. It took away from the opportunities there because our spacing was poor. When we got paint touches we were very successful, but for some reason it wasn't consistent across the board."
UTC made 19 of 56 shots (33.9%) and just was 7-for-28 in the second half, while Belmont shot 23-of-52 (44.2%) for the game. Harmeyer's big night on the boards led a 41-27 Belmont rebounding edge.
The Mocs open their home schedule Saturday with a 2 p.m. game against Hampton at McKenzie Arena, with the UTC men following by taking on Tennessee State.