Thursday, January 10, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
Chattanooga senior Dontay Hampton’s comeback from summer knee surgery was a successful one Thursday night in Charleston, S.C. as his 11 points sparked the Mocs to a 70-65 victory against host The Citadel.
“The Citadel played a zone defense against me so I felt I had put in the time working on my shooting while in rehab, so I took the 3-point shots and made them (3 of 6) which felt great,” said Hampton who also had five rebounds, four assists and three steals on the night in 16 minutes of playing time.
The Mocs, who have now won five of their last six games, improved the season record to 7-9 overall and 2-1 in Southern Conference contests, while The Citadel (3-10, 0-3) continued to struggle with a 10-game losing streak.
“It was great to rally from down 10 points in the second half and we hit some big shots and made our free throws down the stretch,” said junior forward Z. Mason who led the Mocs with 15 points and eight rebounds and connected on four straight free throws in the final 1:07.
“I am so happy I can’t explain it to have Dontay back,” stated Mason. “He’s a fifth year senior and one of our leaders.”
Matt Van Scyoc had a game-high 20 points for The Citadel, plus six rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Raemon Robinson added 15 points for the hosts.
The Mocs led 29-28 at halftime, and held its largest lead of the game - nine points - at 22-13 after a pair of 3-pointers by Farad Cobb and Ronrico White.
The Buldogs rallied in the final 20 minutes and held a 10-point lead (54-44) with 11:36 remaining in the game.
UTC battled back with an 18-8 run to tie the game at 62-62 on Hampton’s third, 3-pointer of the night at 4:31. This was the third straight 3-pointer – Mason (1), Hampton (2) – as the Mocs went from down five, 58-53, to tied at 62 in 80 seconds.
“Tay has the “it factor”, he is a winner and didn’t he hit some big shots tonight,” asked UTC head coach John Shulman.
The victors took the lead for good at 64-62 on a Mason basket at 1:07. It was the Mocs’ first lead since a 36-34 lead with 16:30 remaining.
The Citadel's Mike Groselle (13 pts., 7 rebs) helped the Mocs cause with a missed front end of a 1–and-1 with 37 seconds remaining and down two, 64-62. White (11 points, 1 assist, 1 steal) then hit his two charity tosses 15 seconds later to push the lead to 66-62.
Stephen Elmore (11 pts., 6 rebs.) made only one of two free throws at :13.3 to make it 66-63, but the Bulldogs could get no closer. Mason made his four straight from the free throw line and the Bulldogs Marshall Harris also made two free throws in the final 12 seconds.
Key Stats: Mocs were 13-14 on free throws (8 of 8 in second half), led in rebounding, 35-32, shot 40.7% from the field and 45.0% from 3-point range.
Coach Shulman Ties Shumate in Career Wins: John Shulman (139-136) is now tied with Ron Shumate (139-61) for second place on the Mocs career wins list behind Mack McCarthy (243-122).
Next Game: Sat. Jan.12 … 4 p.m. … UTC at The College of Charleston.
Also in the SoCon: Samford beat COC, 62-57, tonight across town in Charleston ... Samford improves to 4-12 and 2-1, while COC is now 10-5 and 2-1 in the SoCon.
SoCon North Division Standings:
Western Carolina ... 3-0 ... 6-9
Chattanooga .. 2-1 ... 7-9
Samford .. 2-1 ... 4-12
Elon ... 1-1 ... 8-6
App State ... 1-1 ... 5-8
UNCG ... 1-1 ... 3-10
Coach Shulman vs. The Driesell Family: Shulman us now 2-1 as the UTC head coach vs. The Citadel coach Chuck Driesell and 3-0 vs. Driesell's dad - Lefty Driesell - when Shulman was an assistant coach at East Tenn. State and Tenn. Tech.
Coach Shulman vs. The Citadel: 9-2 in nine seasons ... 5-1 on the road ... 4-1 at home .... teams play at McKenzie Arena on Feb.7.
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com