Katie Burrows has played, coached and analyzed a lot of basketball in her life, but the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's coach is baffled about one aspect of her current team.
Following Wednesday afternoon's 59-42 loss to Northern Colorado at McKenzie Arena, Burrows was disappointed in a general lack of intensity in her now 1-7 team. This wasn't a lack of hustle, though, but for the energetic coach it was just as disappointing.
"There's just a lack of fire," she said. "Nobody gets excited. I think that's something I would like to see more of. This game is an exciting game, and we don't really have that excitement across the board."
Case in point, a lackluster second quarter in which the visiting Bears (3-4) outscored UTC 16-8 carried over to start the second half. Four quick points from Alisha Davis pushed the Northern Colorado lead to 33-27, but five UTC points tied it, with Lakelyn Bouldin (game-high 16 points) completing a three-point play to tie the game.
UTC vs. Northern ColoradoView 9 Photos
It was potentially a game-changing moment, but there was very little reaction on the court from the Mocs, and if there was any momentum gained it went away quickly as the Bears scored the next eight points.
UTC, which again shot poorly — 25.9% overall, including 4-of-20 from 3-point range — soon got behind by double digits and never threatened.
"We have to get some fire about us," Burrows said. "I don't know how personally we are taking these losses. It's got to come from within. I've never had to have anybody display that for me, so it's hard for me to understand having people who don't show it."
The Mocs will play four of their next five games on the road over the next month, a critical period for a team admittedly still trying to find itself. As senior leader Bouldin said afterward, a good team is in there somewhere waiting to show itself, but time is getting short to find it.
"It's obviously frustrating and we have some things to figure out," she said. "One day we do some things good, and then the next day we don't do them not so good. We've just got to put a full game together and find a way to finish games.
"We have to stay focused and find a way. Take each loss we've had and learn something from it and move forward. We can't afford to make the same mistakes twice."
Contact Lindsey Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6296; follow on Twitter @youngsports22.