The Chattanooga Mocs (3-6) could not shake off a slow start, falling 87-56 at Georgia (3-4) Monday night. Chattanooga shot a season-low 29.7% (19-64) from the field, including 18.2 percent (6-33) in the first half.
“We never got Georgia out of their comfort zone,” Head Coach Will Wade said. “They beat us with their set offense. I thought we would be able to guard it pretty well because it was set stuff. I was obviously worried about rebounding coming into the game, and we just got killed on the glass. Part of that is that they’re so big and we can’t get inside position on them.
“We have to do a better job of fighting and coming up with something.”
The Mocs were led by junior Martynas Bareika (Kedainiai, Lithuania), who had 14 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Eric Robertson (Huntsville, Ala.) tied his season-high with 13 off the bench, including 3-3 from 3pt range.
Georgia was paced by Nemanja Djurisic, who came off the bench for 14 points and five boards of his own. Juwan Parker added 11 points and five rebounds, while Kenny Gaines had 10 and a game-high four assists.
The Bulldogs made shots early and often. They took the lead into double digits for good, 20-9, on a Djurisic three-pointer at 12:47. It swelled to 14 before Mason’s jumper in the paint at 10:55 got it back to 12, 25-13.
An 11-0 run pushed the UGA lead to 23, 36-13, capped by a Marcus Thornton layup. The Mocs just could not make enough shots to cut into the lead and trailed 47-17 at the break.
The best spurt for Chattanooga came early in the second half. The Mocs outscored their hosts 18-7 over a six-minute stretch, highlighted by an Alex Bran (Memphis, Tenn.) layup at 11:29.
However, Chattanooga dug too deep a hole in the opening 20 minutes. The Bulldogs cruised from there for the win. UGA shot 50.7% (34-67) for the night and dominated inside with a 54-22 advantage on points in the paint.
“We got frustrated,“ Wade added. “They are taking away some of their strengths, and we’re not as comfortable with our counters yet. We have to get comfortable with those over the next eight days before we play again.”
The Mocs are off until next Tuesday, December 10, when they host Hiwassee in McKenzie Arena. Game time is 7 p.m., listen live on ESPN 105.1 FM the Zone in Chattanooga, or go to the men’s basketball schedule page on GoMocs.com for links to video (PPV), audio (free) and live stats. You can follow @GoMocsMBB on twitter for live updates as well.