UTC Edges High Point, 68-61

UTC vs. Utah Valley in Dr.Pepper Title Game

Friday, December 28, 2012 - by B.B. Branton

Coming out of a time out huddle in the game's final minute UTC junior Z. Mason told his teammates, "This is what we have worked for, so let's go get it done."

And get it done Tennessee at Chattanooga did with a come-from-behind 68-61 win against visiting High Point (N.C.) in the second game of tonight's 23rd annual Dr. Pepper Classic at McKenzie Arena.

The 38-point UTC second half was led by Mason (13 pts, 6 rebs) and freshman Ronrico White (15 pts, 3 rebs, 3 assists). Overall, Mason had 15 points, nine boards, while White contributed six boards, four assists and a team-high 21 points.

High Point was led by redshirt freshman John Brown with a double-double - a game-high 23 points and 16 rebounds, two blocks and one steal in 33 minutes.

Teammate Adam Weary was anything but, as he contributed 15 points, three assists and four steals.

"Z. usually doesn't say a great deal, so the guys listened and responded," said UTC coach John Shulman.

"There are a lot of happy young men in our locker room right now and they deserve to be happy," stated coach Shulman in post-game comments to the media.

"With our team being hit with injuries that has knocked out three starters (Casey Jones - broken tibia in right knee (Reinhardt game, Dec. 21) and out six weeks, Dontay Hampton and Lance Stokes), I feel good for our guys that they are playing for a championship tomorrow night."

Championship Game: UTC vs. Utah Valley  Sat. Dec 29 7 p.m.

Consolation 4:30 p.m. -  High Point vs. Austin Peay

It's a re-match of last year's final as Utah Valley also gained a spot in the title game, edging Austin Peay, 84-77, in the opener. UTC defeated Utah Valley,74-59, for the 2011 title. 

Triple Double: Utah Valley's Nick Thompson totaled 13 points, 10 boards and 12 assists ...

The Last Time ... 20 Years Ago: Prior to tonight, UTC's Gary Robb was the last player to post a triple, double in the Dr. Pepper Classic in a 114-102 win against Southern on Dec. 29, 1992 ... Robb had 13 points, 10 rebounds and 17 assists in the opening night victory and the Mocs claimed the title on Dec.30 with an 80-67 triumph against Pepperdine ... Robb contributed 13 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists in that win.

Second Half Rally: Sparked by an 11-0 run to open the second half, the Mocs rallied down two at half (32-30) to go up nine, 41-32, at 16:43 on a Mason jumper. But the visiting Panthers did not fold oustcoring the Blue and Gold, 14-2, in the next six minutes for a 46-43 lead at 10:43.

This was the best second half start for UTC this season since a 7-0 run opened the final 20 minutes in a 68-61 loss to Troy on Nov. 19.

But the duo of Mason and White combined for 20 of the Mocs last 25 points for the win.

After the Panthers led 46-43 on a jumper by Corey Law, the teams were then tied for the fourth and final time at 52-52 on a pair of free throws by the Panthers' Brown.

Playing before an announced crowd of 2,568, the Mocs then built a six-point lead at 58-52 at 4:37 as, first, Mason hit a key jumper followed by possibly the play of the game.

With 6-9 Mason and 6-9 Drazen Zlovaric then on the bench, White nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing, was fouled by Jairus Simms and converted the charity toss.

"We need to keep Ronrico on the wings and he came up big on that shot  when we needed it," Shulman stated.

The Panthers cut it to two (60-58) at 3:08 and to one (62-61) with 31 ticks remaining, but the Mocs made the final six points all on charity tosses to seal the win.

"Knowing that we were out-rebounded by 13 (45-32) and were 2 of 21 from 3-point range and still won the game says something about how we gutted it out tonight," Shulman stated.

"We had to be creative on defense as we played 1-3-1 and 2-3 zones, went man-to-man and half court traps to show as many different looks as possible."

Ringing Endorsement: "The Big South better be prepared to face Mr. Brown for the next couple of months as he is phenominal," said UTC's coach Shulman. "He plays the game the way you are suppose to play the game. He is one of the best freshman in the country."

Big Man Sat Out: High Point's 6-9 Allan Chaney (13 pts, 8 rebs on the season) missed the game due to illness, but hopes to play against Austin Peay.

Key Stats: Cold From Long Distance ... the teams were a combined 0-21 from 3-point range in the first half ... 5-41 for the game

Back and Forth: The game was tied four times  the last coming at 52-52 at 6:02 remaining ... 16 lead changes, the last coming on a 3-pointer by White (his first of two) to give the Mocs a 52-50 lead at 7:22. 

Good Free Throws: Mocs made 11 of 13 FTs in the final 3:44 ...

"We have shot a boat-load of free throws in practice the last few days and it paid off tonight," said Shulman. ... White was 9-11, Mason was 5-6.

Good Opening Night: The Mocs are 22-1 in opening night games in the Dr. Pepper Classic ... and 37-8 overall ... UTC has won 14 of the previous 23 titles and played in 22 championship games.

No More Airports: High Point sports information director Jon Litchfield wasn't sure he would be sitting in McKenzie Arena tonight after spending 26 hours in the Hartford, Conn. airport - only two hours from his home ... "The airline kept delaying the flight so I couldn't go home," said Litchfield who ate four meals in the airport.

High Point vs. SoCon: The Panthers are now 2-1 vs. Southern Conference schools, having opened the season with wins against UNC-Greensboro, 81-73, (Nov. 9 at home) and 86-64 at Appalachian State four nights later.

Dr. Pepper Classic Tickets: ducets available on GoMocs.com or by calling (423) 266-MOCS (6627).

Follow the Mocs: ... on Radio, Internet, Twitter: Listen to the exciting play-by-play from "Voice of the Mocs" Jim Reynolds on ESPN 105.1 the Zone in Chattanooga, or world-wide on GoMocs.com. MocsVision has the live video (PPV) and audio (Free) action online. You can follow @GoMocsMBB on twitter for news, notes, stats and links to game notes, live stats and more.

 

Dec. 28, 2012 -  McKenzie Arena (Chattanooga, Tenn.)

CHATTANOOGA 68, HIGH POINT 61
HIGH POINT (4-7)
BROWN, John 8-15 7-11 23; WEARY, Adam 6-10 3-4 15; WALLACE, Devante 4-10 2-2
13; CUGINI, Lorenzo 2-7 0-0 4; LAW, Corey 2-6 0-0 4; EDWARDS, Derrell 1-4
0-2 2; SIMMS, Jairus 0-2 0-0 0; McINTYRE, Haiishen 0-0 0-0 0; McGAUGHY,
Dejuan 0-1 0-0 0; MIKULIC, Branimir 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 23-59 12-19 61.

CHATTANOOGA (4-8)
WHITE, Ronrico 5-10 9-11 21; MASON, Z. 5-9 5-6 15; McGHEE, Gee 5-11 2-6 12;
BAREIKA, Martynas 2-5 2-2 6; BRAN, Alex 2-3 0-0 4; ZLOVARIC, Drazen 2-5 0-0
4; COBB, Farad 1-9 0-0 2; BRYANT, Jared 0-0 2-2 2; WATSON, Sam 1-2 0-1 2;
ROBERTSON, Eric 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-55 20-28 68.

High Point....................   32   29  -   61
Chattanooga...................   30   38  -   68
3-point goals--High Point 3-20 (WALLACE, Devante 3-9; WEARY, Adam 0-1;
CUGINI, Lorenzo 0-3; EDWARDS, Derrell 0-2; SIMMS, Jairus 0-1; MIKULIC,
Branimir 0-4), Chattanooga 2-21 (WHITE, Ronrico 2-7; McGHEE, Gee 0-4;
BAREIKA, Martynas 0-2; BRAN, Alex 0-1; COBB, Farad 0-6; ROBERTSON, Eric
0-1). Fouled out--High Point-None, Chattanooga-WATSON, Sam.

Rebounds--High Point 45 (BROWN, John 16), Chattanooga 32 (MASON, Z. 9). Assists--High Point
16 (CUGINI, Lorenzo 5), Chattanooga 12 (WHITE, Ronrico 4). Total fouls--High
Point 25, Chattanooga 21. Technical fouls--High Point-None,
Chattanooga-None. A-2,568
(Game 2) of the 2012 Dr. Pepper Classic

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

 

 


Lookouts Fall To Suns Tuesday, 3-2

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Suns drew four walks against Chattanooga Lookouts right-hander Zack Jones in the ninth inning, the last being a bases-loaded walk by Suns third baseman Brian Anderson that forced in the winning run for a 3-2 victory in front of 3,001 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Aaron Slegers made the start for the Lookouts in this one and ... (click for more)

Parking Options Announced For Vols' Season Opener On Thursday

With the University of Tennessee’s football home opener on Thursday, fans heading to the game should anticipate some logistical deviations from a traditional Saturday game. Shuttle services to and from Neyland Stadium will be limited, and there will likely be waits to board the shuttles as kickoff approaches. City transportation planners are recommending that regular game-day ... (click for more)

State Board In Nashville Approves New Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital

Members of the board of the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency in Nashville on Wednesday unanimously approved a new $25 million Behavioral Health Hospital planned by Erlanger Health Systems on Holzclaw Avenue.   Parkridge Valley Hospital and CADAS had opposed the issuance of Certificate of Need.  The 88-bed facility will provide "acute adult inpatient ... (click for more)

Pinkston Says Offer Was Made To Dismiss Lawsuit Against Him If Prosecution Of Detective Burns Was Dropped; Judge Greenholtz "Greatly Bothered" By Any Such Offer

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a hearing Tuesday that an offer was made to drop a lawsuit filed against him by Gatlinburg detective Rodney Burns if he would dismiss two perjury counts against Burns. The district attorney said he should not be disqualified from continuing to prosecute the case or else attorneys would begin suing him or the judge to get a new DA or trial ... (click for more)

Downtown Needs Cleaned Up

My son and I parked on Broad Street and walked to the Billiard Club on Cherry Street this past weekend. It's probably a total of two blocks. In that short walk we passed where Rone Regency used to be on 6th Street and in that doorway was about a years worth of human feces and urine covering the doors and walls. The concrete sidewalk on the street is all broken up and the metal ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ooltewah & The Bullies

During the week of Christmas I got an email from a longtime friend at the Knoxville News-Sentinel that laughingly wondered what kind of basketball do you people play (in Chattanooga?) It included sketchy details of the rape, and subsequent surgery, of an Ooltewah High School basketball player who had been assaulted by his own teammates at a Gatlinburg holiday tournament. Today ... (click for more)