No. 23 Indiana (3-0) pulled out a 79-76 win on the road at Chattanooga on Thursday, handing the Mocs their fourth home loss in five years.
Tyra Buss led all scorers with 23 points, hitting 4-of-7 from 3-point range. Alexis Gassion, with 15, and Amanda Cahill and Jenn Anderson, each with 12, also finished in double figures for the Hoosiers.
Chattanooga (1-2) trailed 75-70 with 3:05 left in the fourth quarter and made a run to cut it to 77-76 with 44 seconds remaining. But a jumper by Gassion with 22 seconds extended the lead back out to three, and the Mocs turned the ball over on their next possession. Four seconds remained when Chattanooga rebounded the second of two misses by Gassion at the free throw line, but a rushed 3 at the buzzer rimmed out.
IU just made more shots than the Mocs. The Hoosiers hit 51.7 percent from the field, including 8-of-17 from 3, while Chattanooga made 46.8 percent from the field and 8-of-20 from 3.
It was a close game throughout, with each team holding a lead in the first half. Chattanooga went up by as many as six in the first quarter. IU led by eight in the second quarter on a bucket by Anderson with 4:03 left.
Each team went on runs to make it close, however. It was tied 19-all at the end of the first, and Anderson’s second-quarter bucket was followed by an 8-2 run for the Mocs, including a baseline jumper by Jasmine Joyner with six seconds left in the half.
But Lakelyn Bouldin was called for a foul on Buss’ 3-point heave with .4 seconds left, and the junior point guard hit all three free throws to make it 37-32 at half.
Chattanooga tied it quickly in the third quarter, though. Twelve seconds in, Keiana Gilbert hit a jumper. Kym Royster then picked up her third foul a minute later and slammed the ball; the sophomore forward was called for a technical, and the Mocs made 3-of-4 free throws to tie it at 37-all.
But the Hoosiers played the frontrunners for most of the night. A trey by Buss and a Cahill layup built the lead back up to 45-39 with 6:36 remaining in the third quarter. Chattanooga made a run to retake the lead, 51-50, with 2:08 left, but IU had the lead, 57-56, by quarter’s end.
Gilbert led the Mocs with 19 points. Joyner finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. This is Chattanooga’s second home loss in a row after falling to No. 19 Florida on Monday.