Thursday, February 28, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
Led by the hot shooting of junior forward Z. Mason – 25 points along with 14 rebounds - Chattanooga defeated host Western Carolina 81-72 Thursday night in a men’s college basketball game in Cullowhee, N.C.
Mason was 7-of-10 from the field and 11-of-14 in free throws and was complemented by Ronrico White’s 19 points and an additional dozen from Gee McGhee.
UTC shot 54% from the field, while the Catamounts shot a cold 38.
Still in the Hunt for a Bye: The win brings UTC to 8-9 in Southern Conference play (13-17 overall) and keeps the Mocs in the running for the fourth and final first round bye in next week’s SoCon tourney.
While Samford (9-8) lost at Appalachian State (9-8) in double overtime, the Mocs can earn the first round bye with a Samford loss at Western Carolina (8-9) and a UTC win at Appalachian State (9-8) on Saturday. If all four teams are 9-9 after Saturday’s games, UTC wins all the tie-breakers and earns the bye.
Radio Broadcast: Sat 2 p.m. 105.1 FM ESPN The Zone
Big Road Win in Cullowhee: Tonight’s win was the first for a UTC team at Western Carolina six years ago - Feb. 2007.
Last Time …: The last time UTC won at App State (Boone, N.C.) was 2006 and the last time a UTC team has won in Culowhee and Boone in the same year was 20 years ago … 1993 … the Mocs went on to win the SoCo title that season.
“Nothing better than winning on the road and the silence (of the home crow) on the road,” said UTC coach John Shulman.
“And what a great start (12-0 at 14:20) we had as we threw the first punch, and then fought hard the rest of the way for a huge win."
Shulman also pointed to some big free throws late in the game.
“Good for us for being mentally tough at the free throw line (26 of 39(,” said Shulman referencing White’s five of six made free throws and McGhee’s two of two in the final six minutes.
“This is veteran type win from a young team,” said White.
“We had a great start (12-0 lead), but Western is a tough team and made a run at us. We made the key baskets and big stops on defense down the stretch for the win.”
Maybe Vote Again ...? : In pre-season voting by the SoCon coaches, UTC was picked to finish fifth in the six-team North Division ... with a win on Saturday and a Samford loss, UTC would finish second in the North ..
What a Difference a Year Makes: After tonight's win, UTC has more overall wins (13 to 11), more SoCon wins (8 to 5) and more SoCon road wins (3 to 0) than last season ...
game stats later ...
contact B.B Branton at firstname.lastname@example.org