UTC Cagers Defeat Reinhardt, 108-78

Friday, December 21, 2012 - by B.B. Branton

A hot-shooting noon game on a cold Dec. 21st was just was what the Tennessee at Chattanooga men’s basketball team needed as the host Mocs eased past Reinhardt University, 108-78, at McKenzie Arena before 2,291.

UTC, improving to 3-8 on the season and snapping a four-game losing streak, shot 56.8% from the field for the game and 58.5% in the first half.

The Blue and Gold set several season bests, including field goal shooting (56.

8%),  points in a first half (60) and a game (108).

Martynas Bareika and Drazen Zlovaric led the hot-handed Mocs with 20 points each, while Farad Cobb added 14.

Reinhardt (5-7) was led by Xavier Mayfield and Larricus Thomas with 13 points each. 

“We had good energy today for a noon game,” said UCT coach John Shulman. “and we played pretty good defense (out rebounded Reinhardt, 56-26 and had four more steals, 14-10).

The pre-Christmas noon home games seem to suit the Mocs as UTC has won three straight midday round ball contests against Reinhardt (107-48 in 2010 and 108-78 today) and Hiwassee, 95-41 (2011).

“We came out confident and played our game and had fun,” said Gee McGhee who had nine points, seven rebounds and two assists.

Shulman Looks For Christmas Miracle: While the coaches and players are glad for a win, everyone is concerned about freshman guard Casey Jones who was injured and left the game early in the second half.

“I am glad we won, but saddened by the fact that Casey Jones hurt his (right) knee early in the second half,” said coach Shulman. “He will have an MRI when he get back here from Christmas break next Wednesday (Dec 26) and we are hoping for a Christmas Miracle and it is no more than a bruise.”

Shulman is Perfect on Dec. 21: Coach Shulman is 8-0 in Dec 21 games as a Mocs head coach, including 7-0 at home … Since moving to NCAA D-I for the 1977-78 season, UTC is 14-6 on Dec. 21, including a 71-70 home win against Texas (Dec.  1987).

First Half: After trailing by two, three times in the first six minutes, the Mocs went on an 11-0 run for a 19-10 lead at 11:03 and were never headed.

The Golden Eagles held short-lived, two-points leads on three occasions early in the opening 20 minutes, the final time at 10-8 at 14:10 on a jumper from above the free throw line by Thomas.

11-0 Run:The Mocs then went on that 11-0 run capped by Martynas Bareika’s pair of free throws.

Five minutes later, a Bareika jumper put the Blue and Gold up by 20 for the first time at 35-15 at 5:55.

UTC’s largest lead of the half – 28 points – was 58-30 on a Z. Mason free throw with 38 seconds before intermission.

The Mocs led by as many as 32 in the second half at 76-44 (13:54) on a tip-in by Ronrico White off a missed 3-pointer by Alex Bran.

50 Point First Half: The Mocs had a 50-point first half for the first time in nearly two years (Jan. 17, 2011) in a 91-88 home triumph against College of Charleston ... UTC scored 53 points in the first half against COC ... UTC scored 57 in the second half of an 86-78 win against Furman (2-17-2012).

UTC had its best shooting half of the season – 58.5% (24-41) – as Cobb was 5 of 8, and Zlovaric was 5 of 7.

Good Off the Bench: For the second straight game freshman walk-on Alex Bran contributed well off the bench with 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 16 minutes ... Bareika had his aforementioned 20 points, seven rebounds and Cobb added 14 points, three assists and three steals... Bran scored 8 points against Mercer last Sunday, while Bareika had seven rebounds and three assists vs. Mercer.


100 Points: The last time UTC scored 100 points or more was in a 111-110 double overtime home win against UNC-Greensboro, Jan. 27, 2011.

Dr. Pepper Classic (Dec. 28-29): Chattanooga returns from Christmas break to host the Dr. Pepper Classic December 28-29 ... Austin Peay and Utah Valley square off in the opener at 4:30 p.m., followed by High Point and the Mocs at 7 ... The consolation game is at 4:30 p.m. on the 29th with the championship tilt at 7.

At Chattanooga, Tenn. (The McKenzie Arena)
Thomas, Larricus 5-8 0-0 13; Mayfield, Xavier 4-8 2-2 13; Mathis, Gabe 5-13
0-0 11; Jackson, D.J. 3-5 0-2 8; Wood, Quinton 3-9 2-2 8; Shumake, Carlton
2-7 2-4 7; Reno, Tanner 1-4 4-4 7; Buford, Richard 2-5 0-0 5; Cooper, Josh
2-8 0-0 4; Joseph, Luke 1-4 0-0 2; Reid, William 0-1 0-0 0; Finley, Perie
0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-73 10-14 78.
ZLOVARIC, Drazen 10-15 0-0 20; BAREIKA, Martynas 6-8 7-8 20; COBB, Farad
5-10 4-6 14; BRAN, Alex 4-6 4-4 12; ROBERTSON, Eric 4-7 0-0 9; MASON, Z. 4-7
1-1 9; McGHEE, Gee 4-9 1-4 9; BRYANT, Jared 2-4 2-5 6; JONES, Casey 2-4 0-0
5; WHITE, Ronrico 1-2 2-2 4; WATSON, Sam 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 42-74 21-30 108.
Reinhardt.....................   33   45  -   78
Chattanooga...................   60   48  -  108
3-point goals--Reinhardt 12-33 (Thomas, Larricus 3-3; Mayfield, Xavier 3-5;
Jackson, D.J. 2-2; Buford, Richard 1-3; Shumake, Carlton 1-2; Mathis, Gabe
1-8; Reno, Tanner 1-4; Finley, Perie 0-1; Reid, William 0-1; Wood, Quinton
0-4), Chattanooga 3-13 (BAREIKA, Martynas 1-1; JONES, Casey 1-1; ROBERTSON,
Eric 1-3; MASON, Z. 0-1; McGHEE, Gee 0-2; BRAN, Alex 0-2; COBB, Farad 0-3).
Fouled out--Reinhardt-None, Chattanooga-None. Rebounds--Reinhardt 26 (Wood,
Quinton 5), Chattanooga 56 (WATSON, Sam 8). Assists--Reinhardt 20 (Shumake,
Carlton 5), Chattanooga 22 (WHITE, Ronrico 4). Total fouls--Reinhardt 20,
Chattanooga 16. Technical fouls--Reinhardt-None, Chattanooga-None. A-2291

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

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