Saturday, January 11, 2014
- by B.B. Branton
"Tonight was our fourth game in seven days and I thought our players responded well against a very good, very physical Wofford team and found a way to win."
-- UTC men's basketball coach Will Wade
It was CHAOS, Chattanooga style, in McKenzie Arena Saturday night.
It was also nerve wracking and a nail biter at the end in front of the second largest home crowd this season - 3,866 - as UTC held off Wofford for a 70-69 win in a Southern Conference men's college basketball game.
Chattanooga's Casey Jones scored a career-high 24 points and teammate Z Mason added 17 as the Mocs improved to 10-8 overall and 4-0 in the SoCon, while Wofford fell to 7-9 overall and 2-2 in conference play.
The Mocs led by 11 at 61-50 at 5:51, and needed all of Jones' 24 points as Wofford rallied to pull within five at 70-65 with 14 seconds remaining.
Two Late Steals: Wofford stole the ball twice off UTC inbounds plays in the final seconds and made two free throws and a basket to trim the UTC lead to 70-69 with eight seconds left.
UTC's Z Mason had the first turnover as Cochran stole the ball and Jaylen Allen made two free throws cut it to three, 70-67.
Allen made the second steal off the inbounds pass by Lance Stokes, made his basket (70-69) and was fouled.
He had a chance to tie the game with eight seconds remaining, but missed the charity toss and UTC's Gee McGhee gathered in the rebound.
"I take the blame for the turnovers on the inbounds plays at the end, but those things are fixable and we will work on that situation in practice," said Wade.
One More Wofford Chance: The visiting Terriers had one more chance to win the game as McGhee missed two free throws and Wofford's Karl Cochran (20 points, 4 rebounds) drove the lane, missed his shot, but was called for a charge with one second left as UTC held on to win.
"Greg Pryor (point guard) played great tonight and ran the offense at a good pace and took the charge for us at the end which was of course huge," said UTC coach Will Wade.
UTC led 28-24 at halftime, built the lead to 11 on four occasions in the final 20 minutes, the last coming at 5:51 (61-50) before Wofford outscored the Mocs 19-9 down the stretch.
Coach Wade on First 38:30: "Everyone wants to talk about the final 90 seconds with our two turnovers, but what about the first 38:30 as we played tough, led by 11 and found a way to have that 11 point lead."
Chattanooga 70, Wofford 69
Wofford 24 - 45 -- 69
Chattanooga 28 - 42 -- 70
Will Wade Quotes: "Our fourth game in seven days and our guys found a way to win ... not pretty, but nevertheless a win ... We are developing good mentality and a team identity ... we are developing a toughness."
Benny Seltzer (Wofford coach): "Hats off to the Mocs ... it was a good college basketball game ... two teams getting better."
UTC's Casey Jones: "I am ecstatic with the win ... I am not use to winning even in high school."
Rebounds: Wofford, 41-40
Free Throws: Wofford, 68.4% to 61.5%
Field Goals: UTC, 45.6% to 43.3%
3-Pointers: UTC, 25% to 22.2%Wofford, 17-8
Points from the Bench: UTC, 23-13
Last 1-Point Win: Jan. 27, 2011 ... UTC 111, UNCG 110 (2 OT) at McKenzie Arena
Current Winning Streak: UTC has won six straight for the first time since the 2009-10 season ...
Last Time to Win 7 Straight: The Mocs won 11 straight during the 1996-97 season.
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com