Saturday, February 23, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
For Chattanooga senior Drazen Zlovaric, singing the school's alma mater late Saturday night on the McKenzie Arena floor with his teammates for the last time probably never sounded so good.
Coming off a 30-point loss Thursday (78-58 to Wofford), Zlovaric helped the Mocs to a stunning 72-68 upset of Southern Conference North Division leading Elon Saturday night at McKenzie Arena.
On senior night, Zlovaric scored 10 points, while freshman teammate Gee McGhee had a game-high and career-high 24 points as the Mocs have won three of their last four to improve to 12-17 overall and 7-9 in the SoCon.
"If you watched the game Thursday and watched the game tonight, our defense was phenominal tonight," said UTC coach John Shulman.
"I commend our players for risking it all tonight as we defended out of our comfort zone and out rebounding Elon by 14 (39-25)," Shulman stated.
Elon, 19-9 overall and 12-4 in the SoCon, was led by Ryley Beaumont with 20 points and seven rebounds. Sebastain Koch added 13 points and three rebounds
Nine Point Swing in Second Half: The Mocs trailed by six in the second half at 56-50 at 12:07, went on a 9-0 run and took the lead at 59-56 on a 3-pointer by freshman reserve Eric Robertson at 9:38 and were never headed down the stretch.
First Half: The Mocs led 38-37 at halftime as McGhee scored 13 points in 16 minutes and shot 54.2% from the field, to counter Elon's 52.2% shooting.
"It was a tight game, close game and well played college basketball game," said Elon head coach Matt Matheny.
"I think we played hard and were ready and of course are disappointed with the loss."
Redeem Themselves: "We laid an egg on Thursday, so we came out tonight knowing that we wanted to do well for the team, the school and Chattanooga," said McGhee.
The Baton Rouge, La. freshman made a huge block of a Beaumont layup attempt at 1:10 remaining which protected a 70-66 Mocs lead.
Elon's Jack Isenbarger did made two free throws nearly a minute later to cut it to 70-68 with 14 seconds left, but a pair of Ronrico White free throws six seconds later for the Mocs all but iced win.
What's In Your Heart: UTC coach John Shulman said that the team did not practice Friday, but did meet at his house and talked about "what we have in our souls, in our guts and in our hearts."
"It was a very emotional time and we translated that time into a win."
Thanks to the UTC Students: "I am thankful that our students came back out tonight and supported their fellow students after a tough loss on Thursday," Shulman stated. "That means a lot to me and the players for our students and fans to stay with us "
Halftime - That's Incredible ...!
Perfect From 3–Point Land – On a Unicycle, No Doubt: While the Mocs led 38-37 at halftime, entertainer Red Panda from China was perfect on her unicycle - 15-for-15 - as she balanced a series of bowls on her head - from ironically 10 feet above the McKenzie Arena floor - kicking them with one foot in five different sequences and wearing high heels.
Performing in her sixth of eight shows this week, Red Panda, who trained seven years as a child to perfect her trade, said that she usually limits her show to a maximum of five bowls, one kick at a time, but has on occasion reached a career-best six-bowl performance.
She also performed at halftime of the women’s game tonight and displayed her talents here in 2010 when Davidson and Stephan Curry were in town.
CHATTANOOGA 72, ELON 68
ELON (19-9, 12-4 SoCon)
BEAUMONT, Ryley 8-17 1-4 20; KOCH, Sebastian 4-8 2-2 13; ISENBARGER, Jack
4-11 2-2 12; BONNEY, Josh 3-6 0-0 8; SAMSON, Tanner 2-6 2-2 8; EDOMWONYI,
Egheosa 2-2 0-0 4; BLAKE, Kevin 0-0 2-2 2; SABATO, Tony 0-1 1-2 1; WINTERS,
Ryan 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 23-54 10-14 68.
CHATTANOOGA (12-17, 7-9 SoCon)
McGHEE, Gee 5-8 13-19 24; ZLOVARIC, Drazen 5-9 0-0 10; MASON, Z. 4-11 2-2
10; WHITE, Ronrico 2-5 3-4 8; JONES, Casey 4-6 0-0 8; ROBERTSON, Eric 2-3
0-0 5; BRAN, Alex 1-2 0-0 3; STOKES, Lance 1-1 0-0 2; BAREIKA, Martynas 0-1
1-2 1; WATSON, Sam 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 24-47 20-29 72.
ELON.......................... 37 31 - 68
Chattanooga................... 38 34 - 72
3-point goals--ELON 12-27 (BEAUMONT, Ryley 3-3; KOCH, Sebastian 3-6; SAMSON,
Tanner 2-6; BONNEY, Josh 2-3; ISENBARGER, Jack 2-9), Chattanooga 4-10
(WHITE, Ronrico 1-2; BRAN, Alex 1-1; McGHEE, Gee 1-3; ROBERTSON, Eric 1-1;
BAREIKA, Martynas 0-1; MASON, Z. 0-2). Fouled out--ELON-None,
Chattanooga-None. Rebounds--ELON 25 (BEAUMONT, Ryley 7), Chattanooga 39
(McGHEE, Gee 8). Assists--ELON 16 (ISENBARGER, Jack 6), Chattanooga 11
(WHITE, Ronrico 5). Total fouls--ELON 18, Chattanooga 16. Technical
fouls--ELON-None, Chattanooga-None. A-3623
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com