Mercer Tops UTC Cagers, 63-53

Sunday, December 16, 2012 - by B.B. Branton

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- Prior to Mercer’s 63-53 win against The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga,  Sunday at McKenzie Arena, the Bears were shooting 33% from 3-point range.

The visitors upped that to 46.7% (7 of 15) in the first half against the Mocs, led 33-22 at halftime and were never headed in the final 20 minutes to improve to 6-5 on the season.

The Bears main outside weapon Langston Hall, a 6-4 junior guard, who was 5-9 from beyond the arc and had a game-high 19 points.

But he wasn’t alone in connecting from 3-point land as Jibri Bryan earned all his nine points from long range (3-of-5), while three other Bear had one, 3-pointer each.

“Langston is a special player at point guard and I am thankful I get to coach him every day,” said Mercer coach Bob Hoffman.

While Hall had the most points, Bryan did the most damage to the Mocs defense, connecting on three straight treys – his first three shots of the game –  in a six minute, 19-0 Mercer run (for a 24-10 lead at 9:24) which wiped out a Mocs 10-5 lead.

 UTC (2-8) held the five point lead at 16:48 on a Z Mason layup, but then went cold for 8:32– 11 missed shots and two turnovers  – before Gee McGhee’s jumper made it 24-12 in favor of the Bears.

“We played great D (defense) during that 19-0 run and on offense were able to make that extra pass to get the open looks,” Hoffman stated.

McGhee’s jumper, kick-started a 7-0 Mocs run to make it 24-17 at 5:53 before intermission, but Hall countered with a jumper and a 3-pointer to make it 31-18 at 2:28 before McGhee added two baskets late as the Mocs trailed by 11 at halftime.

The Blue and Gold made two more runs in the second half, cutting a 16-point Mercer lead (41-25) to six (41-35) at 12:52 thanks to Alex Bran’s eight points in six minutes off the bench and cutting a Mercer 14-point lead (53-39 at 8:26) to six (59-53 at 1:37) on a pair of Ronrico White free throws, but could get no closer.

“Give Mercer credit, they shot the ball real well, ” said UTC coach John Shulman. “They won 27 games last year and lost one player. Overall, we looked like a young team trying to find ourselves but we worked hard.”

“We basically did nothing right today (shot 33.3% from the field, 26;9% from –point range and 62.5% from the free throw line), but battled back and found ourselves down by six in the last two minutes with the ball to a team who beat Florida State on the road.”

Shullman pointed to Bran and Martynas Bareika’s efforts off the bench.

“Alex gave us a great spark and Martynas worked his tail off (7 points, 3 assists, 1 steal),” Shulman stated.

Mason led the Mocs with 13 points and eight rebounds, while McGhee scored 12.

“We battled out there today but we have to get better on the glass (Mercer led 38-33 in rebounds),” Shulman stated.

“I don’t see a lot of quit out there (from his players) and if you are frustrated then that means you care.”

Next Game: The Mocs have a chance to do something about that frustration Friday in a noon home game with Reinhart University (Waleska, Ga.). The Eagles (5-5) have won four straight entering Wednesday’s game with Southern Poly State and have split a pair of games with Tennessee Temple who the Mocs beat 88-53 in the season opener.

Series Record: UTC leads Reinhart, 1-0, defeating the Eagles, 107-48, two years ago, Dec. 21, 2010.

 

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net


MERCER 63, CHATTANOOGA 53
MERCER (6-5)
HALL, Langston 6-12 2-2 19; SMITH, Travis 2-8 6-8 10; BRYAN, Jibri 3-6 0-0
9; THOMAS, Bud 4-9 0-0 8; HALLICE, T.J. 3-4 0-0 7; GOLLON, Jakob 1-2 2-2 5;
WHITE, Anthony Jr. 1-3 0-0 3; COURSEY, Daniel 1-5 0-0 2; BROWN, Monty 0-2
0-0 0; SMITH, Chris 0-0 0-0 0; MOTEN, Darious 0-1 0-0 0; CANEVARI, Kevin 0-0
0-0 0. Totals 21-52 10-12 63.

CHATTANOOGA (2-8)
MASON, Z. 5-10 2-4 13; McGHEE, Gee 5-11 0-3 12; BRAN, Alex 2-3 2-2 8; WHITE,
Ronrico 1-12 4-4 7; WATSON, Sam 2-3 0-0 4; ZLOVARIC, Drazen 2-2 0-0 4;
BAREIKA, Martynas 1-4 0-0 3; BRYANT, Jared 0-0 2-3 2; JONES, Casey 0-2 0-0
0; COBB, Farad 0-4 0-0 0; ROBERTSON, Eric 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 18-54 10-16 53.
Mercer........................   33   30  -   63
Chattanooga...................   22   31  -   53
3-point goals--Mercer 11-29 (HALL, Langston 5-9; BRYAN, Jibri 3-5; HALLICE,
T.J. 1-2; GOLLON, Jakob 1-2; WHITE, Anthony Jr. 1-2; MOTEN, Darious 0-1;
THOMAS, Bud 0-4; SMITH, Travis 0-4), Chattanooga 7-26 (McGHEE, Gee 2-6;
BRAN, Alex 2-2; MASON, Z. 1-3; WHITE, Ronrico 1-7; BAREIKA, Martynas 1-3;
COBB, Farad 0-4; ROBERTSON, Eric 0-1). Fouled out--Mercer-None,
Chattanooga-None. Rebounds--Mercer 38 (BROWN, Monty 8), Chattanooga 33
(MASON, Z. 8). Assists--Mercer 13 (THOMAS, Bud 5), Chattanooga 14 (WHITE,
Ronrico 5). Total fouls--Mercer 17, Chattanooga 13. Technical
fouls--Mercer-None, Chattanooga-None. A-2408

 


Flames Win NCCAA Mid-East Region Championship

Cory Billingsley and Jervon Johnson combined for 49 points to help the Flames capture the NCCAA Mid-East Region Championship with a 90-65 victory over Hiwassee College on Wednesday evening in Walker Arena. It was the hot-shooting of Billingsley and Johnson that propelled the Flames to a fast start and the visiting Tigers battled back on a couple of occasions but were never ... (click for more)

Dalton State DS Has Coach And Player Of The Year

Montgomery, AL – Dalton State received recognition Wednesday night during the Southern States Athletic Conference basketball banquet at the Camton Bowl Multiplex. The Roadrunners received their plaque as regular season conference champions.  Head Coach Tony Ingle was named the conference Coach of the Year and 6-10 senior Ladaris Green was honored as the SSAC Player ... (click for more)

County Under Winter Weather Advisory; Hamilton County Schools On 2-Hour Delay

Temperatures were mild on Wednesday, reaching 74 degrees, but they began dropping as the day went on - leading to a winter weather advisory. The advisory goes into effect at 4 a.m. on Thursday and is to continue until 4 p.m. The forecast is for freezing rain and sleet. Hamilton County Schools will be on a two-hour delay on Thursday . School officials said, "Based on the ... (click for more)

Grand Jury Indicts Mark Kaylor In Alleged Beating Case; He Resigns From Red Bank Police; His Attorney Asks For Trial

A Red Bank officer was indicted on Wednesday by the Hamilton County Grand Jury on charges related to an alleged assault against a detainee. At the same time, Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol said he had accepted the resignation of Officer Mark Kaylor. The Hamilton County District Attorney General’s Office earlier said it had reviewed the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation ... (click for more)

Women Don't Ask For Rape, They Ask For Justice

The stereotypical irrationality that women typically lie about rape has brought an enormous amount of social stigma to this population. Many like to think that rape is not a huge issue in the United States, and that the media blows it out of proportion. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that approximately 17.7 million females in America have been raped, with 108,612 ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Father Kelly’s ‘Hallelujah’

Last April, in the special way that only some older men are lucky enough to possess, the childish imp came out in Father Ray Kelly. A parish priest in Oldcastle, Ireland, he was conducting wedding vows for a handsome couple when the 62-year-old decided to surprise them with a totally-unscripted rendition of Leonard Cohen’s beautiful song, “Hallelujah.” When he did, there soon ... (click for more)