ETSU women’s basketball lost to the University of Tennessee Chattanooga in an early morning matchup in front of 2,700 spectators.

The energy could be felt throughout the entire gym as ETSU took on one of its toughest opponents of the spring season.

UTC improved its record to 8-0 in the Southern Conference and 20-3 overall.

Just looking at the Mocs’ record, it was obvious this game was going to be tough. The Bucs have not faced a ranked opponent since November 2008 and were hungry for a satisfying victory.

More than 2,000 elementary school kids attended the match due to an event called “Education Day.”

With a large crowd and a huge game looming, ETSU felt the pressure to perform well and extend their winning record and in the first half, the Bucs showed why they deserved to sit at the top of the table with the best of the conference.

They held UTC to only a 2-point lead through the entire first half and with the Mocs sitting at No. 23 in the nation this can be considered a big accomplishment.

ETSU was able to pull ahead several times but UTC was always able to match them. The game stayed at a very steady and exciting pace swinging back and forth down the court.

As halftime was reached, ETSU was able to say that it successfully competed with a ranked opponent and were very close on their heels.

The Buccaneers came off hard in the second half, taking their only lead of the second half early on before UTC took it back and continued to hold it.

UTC was never a fully dominant force during the game as the Bucs were able to fight to stay in the game.

In the last few minutes of the game, the Mocs put on a quick burst of points. Good attacking and the Bucs’ inability to convert outside the 3-point line contributed to UTC’s final push to victory.

ETSU also had a weakness during the match that UTC was able to exploit, the Bucs turned over the ball too many times.

UTC played like the nationally ranked team they were and the Bucs just didn’t have it in them to overcome that yet.

A few strong points to take out of this game are that ETSU was able to convert heavily in the paint at 46-30 and they also took advantage of rebounds, accumulating 17 second chance points.

With such a strong opponent behind them, ETSU performed well and can continue their run through the conference with a high confidence.