Western Carolina Tops UTC, 90-81

Saturday, January 19, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

"Our effort tonight was fine - 18 offensive rebounds - but our energy was not there. We missed enough layups to win by 14."

-- UTC head coach John Shulman

On a night where good effort, but little energy couldn't produce another improbable comeback win, Western Carolina's hot shooting led to a 90-81 win against host Chattanooga Saturday night at McKenzie Arena in a Southern Conference men's basketball game before an announced crowd of 3,273.  

Led by Trey Sumler (25 pts) and Tom Tankelewicz (21 pts), the visiting Catamounts (8-11, 5-2) hit from long range early and often as well as around the basket to defeat the Mocs and snap a five-game losing streak in Chattanooga.

The Mocs (8-11, 3-3) were led by Z. Mason with 21 points and six rebounds and Gee McGhee with 19 points, two assists and two steals.

"Our effort was fine (18 offensive rebounds), but we were not mentally alert," said Chattanooga head coach John Shulman. "We did not play with lots of energy or brains tonight and I am not sure why."

Tankelewicz (7-9 from 3-pt range) and Sumler (3-7) had plenty of energy from the opening tip - "T" connecting on his first four shots, all from beyond the arc - as the Catamounts led by 10 (27-17) at the 10:12 mark.

The Mocs then came alive, as a jumper by McGhee capped a 16-7 run to pull within one at 34-33 at 6:10.

But the hosts couldn't sustain the momentum as WC closed the half with a 14-6 run of its own to lead by nine, 48-39, at intermission.

"Our starts of late have been pretty bad and we can't always fight back and win as did on Thursday (91-88 win against Appalachian State)," said Mason.

Against App State, the Mocs trailed by 10 in the opening eight minutes and were down 19 with 6:36 to go and won.

At College of Charleston, the Mocs were down 18 (20-2) in the first eight minutes, never recovered and lost by 27 (86-59).

"We let them get easy points in transition and we couldn't capitalize on our offensive rebounding," Mason stated.

First Half Shooting: The Catamounts shot a torrid 61.5% (8-13) from 3-point range in the first half and an overall 54.5% from the field, while the Mocs were 44.1% (15-34) from the field and 25% (2-8) from beyond the arc.

The final 20 minutes was a similar scenario as the visitors quickly built a double-digit lead of 16( 62-46)  at the 16:16 mark, only to have the Mocs cut it to four (70-66) at 7:10 with a 20-8 run.

A pair of Sumler 3s helped push the lead back to 10 (80-70, 3:38) and the Mocs could get no closer than four (82-78, 1:21).

Western shot 53.4% (31-58) for the game from the field (54.5% from 3-pt range (12-22), while the Mocs shot, 39.7% (25-63) from the field.

"We have had good execution with open looks the last few games, but fortunately for us the shots went in tonight," said Western Carolina coach Larry Hunter.

The win broke a five-game losing streak for the Catamounts in McKenzie Arena with their last win in Chattanooga was six years ago - 73-67, Jan. 8, 2007.

"We score 81 points at home and lose," asked Shulman. "Why we were not hungry at home I am not sure.

"They came in here and were very hungry and out played us. We blue an opportunity to sweep at home and didn't."

Playing With Broken Hand: UTC's Dontay Hampton played with a broken hand suffered in Thursday's game and scored nine points tonight with six rebounds and two assists.

"I have a lot of pain in my right hand, but I told coach 'I am going,'", said Hampton prior to Saturday's game.

"He couldn't even bounce a ball on Friday and then he battles through the pain tonight," said Shulman.

"I'll take 15 Tays."

Three on the Road and then Back Home: The Mocs play at Elon (Jan.24), UNCG (Jan.26) and Ga. Southern (Feb.2) before returning to McKenzie Arena for Legends Weekend - Feb. 7 (The Citadel) and Feb. 9 (College of Charleston).


WESTERN CAROLINA (8-11, 5-2 SoCon)
SUMLER, Trey 6-17 10-10 25; TANKELEWICZ, Tom 7-9 0-0 21; BOGGS, Brandon 9-11
0-0 19; KING, Tawaski 7-11 4-5 18; BROWN, Mike 1-1 1-2 4; SINCLAIR, James
1-4 0-0 2; ROSS, Preston 0-3 1-2 1; MENDENHALL, Josh 0-1 0-0 0; HARRELSON,
Rhett 0-1 0-0 0; HALL, Kenneth 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 31-58 16-19 90.

CHATTANOOGA (8-11, 3-3 SoCon)
MASON, Z. 6-9 8-10 21; McGHEE, Gee 6-13 5-7 19; WHITE, Ronrico 3-9 3-4 9;
HAMPTON, Dontay 2-8 4-4 9; ZLOVARIC, Drazen 2-7 3-4 7; COBB, Farad 2-5 0-0
5; BAREIKA, Martynas 2-4 0-0 5; STOKES, Lance 1-3 2-5 4; WATSON, Sam 1-1 0-2
2; BRYANT, Jared 0-3 0-0 0; ROBERTSON, Eric 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-63 25-36
Western Carolina..............   48   42  -   90
Chattanooga...................   39   42  -   81
3-point goals--Western Carolina 12-22 (TANKELEWICZ, Tom 7-9; SUMLER, Trey
3-7; BOGGS, Brandon 1-1; BROWN, Mike 1-1; HARRELSON, Rhett 0-1; ROSS,
Preston 0-1; SINCLAIR, James 0-2), Chattanooga 6-23 (McGHEE, Gee 2-6; COBB,
Farad 1-3; HAMPTON, Dontay 1-5; MASON, Z. 1-2; BAREIKA, Martynas 1-2; WHITE,
Ronrico 0-5). Fouled out--Western Carolina-BOGGS, Brandon; ROSS, Preston,
Chattanooga-None. Rebounds--Western Carolina 33 (SINCLAIR, James 10),
Chattanooga 41 (ZLOVARIC, Drazen 7). Assists--Western Carolina 23 (SUMLER,
Trey 12), Chattanooga 15 (WHITE, Ronrico 5). Total fouls--Western Carolina
27, Chattanooga 18

Technical fouls--Western Carolina-None, Chattanooga-None


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





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