Thursday, January 17, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
In one of the biggest comebacks in modern Chattanooga men's basketball history, the Mocs rallied from down 19 (64-45) with 6:36 to play in regulation to defeat Appalachian State, 91-88, in overtime Thursday at UTC McKenzie Arena before 2,787 fans.
Wearing "UTC Gold" uniforms trimmed in navy blue, the Mocs (8-10, 3-2), worthy of a late gold medal performance, outscored the visitors 33-14 down the stretch to tie the score at 78-78 in regulation. Then thanks to Ronrico White's 6-for-6 from the free throw line, out-pointed the visitors 12-8 in the five minutes of overtime for the win.
The last Mocs basket in regulation - a 3-pointer by senior guard Dontay Hampton to even it at 78 with 18 seconds to go to cap an 8-1 run - electrified the already enthusiastic crowd.
"Tay is phenominal," said White. "He gets me going."
Using a turnover-causing press, followed by a fast-breaking offense and long range jumpers by the UTC guards late in regulation put the Mountaineers on their heals and would have impressed even the high-scoring, fast-paced Harlem Globetrotters who visit McKenzie Arena Friday night.
Three Nites of Hoops: And it's basketball three straight nights as the Mocs take the McKenzie Arena floor again Saturday night at 7 against Western Carolina (7-11, 4-2) which is tied for second in the SoCon North Division.
UTC's Z. Mason had a game-high double-double (23 pts., 11 rebs), Hampton came off the bench to toss in a career-high 22 points (14 after halftime) with three assists and one steal and White contributed with 17 points and six boards.
Rally Starting Run: First, the Mocs used a quick 7-0 run - Mason (4 pts), Hampton (3 pts) and steals by Mason and Gee McGhee - to pull within 12 at 64-52 at 5:38.
UTC was within five - 75-70 at 1:36 on two White free throws - only to have Jay Canty's layup push the margin to seven for ASU at 77-70 at 1:30. Mason had a 3-pointer and a layup in that closing 8-1 run capped by Hampton's heroics which forced overtime.
"I told my teammates that this game wasn't over and to keep playing," said Hampton. "If the ball gets in my hands, I'll make it."
Scoring and precision passing from the talented trio of Canty (19 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists), Tab Hamilton (21 pts., including four, 3-pointers in the first half) and Nathan Healy (22 pts., 10 boards, 3 assists) caused havoc with the Mocs defense most of the night to lead the way for that 19-point advantage.
"We thoroughly dominated UTC for 34 minutes, but I am disappointed in the way we finished," said Appalachian State coach Jason Capel. "I give a lot of credit to Chattanooga for not giving up.
It's about executing and having that killer instinct to put them away and we did not do that."
App State (7-9, 3-2), which led 38-30 at intermission, shot 48.3% from the field (14-29) in the first half, including 53.8% from 3-point range (7-13), while UTC shot 40% and 37.5% from 3-point land.
"Winning tonight was more of a pride thing with us," said White who also had four assists and four steals to complement the 17 point-6 rebound effort.
"We are better than being down 19 with six to go," he said with a determined look.
First UTC Lead: Hampton's fifth of five 3-pointers gave the Mocs their first lead of the night at 83-82 at 3:28 in extra time.
Then trailing 85-83 after a Mike Neal 3-pointer for ASU at 3:01 in overtime, the Mocs went on a 6-0 run - baskets by Drazen Zlovaric and Mason and a pair of White free throws - for a four-point advantage at 89-85 with 22 seconds left on the McKenzie Arena clock.
But App State would not go quietly as Healy hit the last of his four 3s - this one from well beyond the arc and a hand in his face - to pull within one (89-88) with 15 seconds remaining.
Hampton then missed a pair of free throws, but Mason garnered the offensive board, White was fouled and made two to go up, 91-88.
Healy then had his game-tying 3 rim out and the Mocs had their unforgetable win.
"I thought we were dead many times tonight, but our kids did not give up," said UTC head coach John Shulman. "We had so many close ones not go our way last year that these guys deserved a good win."
Defensive Star: "A great job ... a wonderful job that Gee McGhee did defensively on Jay Canty," said coach Shulman .... Canty made only one basket (1 of 2) in the final 6:36 of regulation and none in overtime .. all his points came at the free throw line (5 of 8).
6 Straight vs. App State: The Mocs (8-10, 3-2) have now won six straight against ASU in McKenzie Arena, including two overtime victories (2009 and tonight), and defeated the hottest team in the SoCon before tonight that had entered this game on a five-game win streak.
6 of 8: The Blue and Gold won 7 of 9 exactly two years ago (Dec 17-Jan.17) ... The Mocs - now winners of 6 of the last 8 - can equal that run with a win Saturday at home against Western Carolina who lost 64-60, at Samford tonight.
Another Dagger By Dontay: A year ago (Jan 7 at McKenzie), App State led late, but the Mocs rallied to tie in the final seconds before Hampton's coast-to-coast layup with 0.8 seconds remaining gave the home team a 65-63 win ... UTC trailed by 11 (57-46) at the 9:07 mark ... UTC closed with a 19-6 run to win ...
Tonight, the Mocs used a 46-24 run to win ... Hampton had three 3s and five free throws in the second half to force overtime.
Shulman in OT: The Mocs are 6-4 in overtime in the John Shulman Era ... 3-1 at home ...
Shulman No.2 All-Time in Wins: With Thursday's win, John Shulman is 140-137 at UTC and has passed Ron Shumate (139-61) for second place on the Mocs all-time coaches win list ... Mack McCarthy is first (243-122) ...
Key Stats Rebounds, UTC 45-39 ... Bench Scoring, UTC 31-14 ... FG%, App State 46.9%-43.1%
Saturday Night: 7 p.m. McKenzie Arena ... UTC (3-2) vs. Western Carolina ...
CHATTANOOGA 91, APPALACHIAN STATE 88 OT
APPALACHIAN STATE (7-9, 3-2 SoCon)
HEALY, Nathan 8-16 2-2 22; HAMILTON, Tab 7-10 2-3 21; CANTY, Jay 7-13 5-8
19; BASKIN, Tevin 3-9 5-7 11; NEAL, Mike 2-11 0-0 6; OBACHA, Michael 2-2 2-3
6; TRICE, Jamaal 1-2 0-0 3; BURGESS, Chris 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 30-64 16-23 88.
CHATTANOOGA (8-10, 3-2 SoCon)
MASON, Z. 8-17 5-6 23; HAMPTON, Dontay 6-11 5-7 22; WHITE, Ronrico 4-9 9-10
17; ZLOVARIC, Drazen 5-10 0-1 10; McGHEE, Gee 3-9 1-2 8; WATSON, Sam 2-3 1-2
5; BRYANT, Jared 1-2 0-0 2; COBB, Farad 1-7 0-0 2; ROBERTSON, Eric 1-2 0-0
2; BAREIKA, Martynas 0-1 0-0 0; STOKES, Lance 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 31-72 21-28
Appalachian State............. 38 40 10 - 88
Chattanooga................... 30 48 13 - 91
3-point goals--Appalachian State 12-26 (HAMILTON, Tab 5-6; HEALY, Nathan
4-10; NEAL, Mike 2-5; TRICE, Jamaal 1-2; BURGESS, Chris 0-1; BASKIN, Tevin
0-1; CANTY, Jay 0-1), Chattanooga 8-25 (HAMPTON, Dontay 5-8; MASON, Z. 2-4;
McGHEE, Gee 1-4; COBB, Farad 0-4; ROBERTSON, Eric 0-1; WHITE, Ronrico 0-4).
Fouled out--Appalachian State-None, Chattanooga-None. Rebounds--Appalachian
State 39 (HEALY, Nathan 10), Chattanooga 45 (MASON, Z. 11).
Assists--Appalachian State 21 (NEAL, Mike 7), Chattanooga 17 (McGHEE, Gee
5). Total fouls--Appalachian State 22, Chattanooga 24. Technical
fouls--Appalachian State-None, Chattanooga-None. A-2787
SoCon North Division Standings
Samford ... 4-1 ... 6-12
Western Carolina ... 4-2 ... 7-11
Elon ... 3-2 ... 10-7
CHATTANOOGA ... 3-2 ... 8-10
Appalachian State ... 3-2 ... 7-9
UNC Greensboro ... 2-3 ... 4-12
Thursday Scores (all 5 home teams won)
Chattanooga def. AppalachianState, 91-88 OT
Samford def. Western Carolina, 64-60
Elon def. Furman, 73-59
Davidson def. The Citadel, 70-38
Ga. Southern def. The College of Charleston
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