UTC Men Defeat Wofford, 70-69

Mocs are 4-0 in SoCon Play

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."

Stats:

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 william.branton@comcast.net


Szmidt Starts Red Hot In Heights' Rare Home Game

Talk about starting out a game with red-hot shooting. Hamilton Heights’ Therren Shelton-Szmidt was on target early, hitting 5-of-6 3-pointers in the first quarter and leading the Hawks to a 72-57 victory over Central Park on Friday night. Szmidt’s opening barrage helped the Hawks take a 29-8 advantage after one quarter of action. They were up 49-20 at halftime. Playing ... (click for more)

Covenant Women Win 78-62 At Wesleyan

The Covenant women's basketball team used a season-best shooting performance to knock off USA South foe Wesleyan, 78-62, on Friday night at Porter Gymnasium. Covenant (7-8, 1-4 USA South) shot 56.4 percent (31-of-55) from the field in the victory that snapped a four-game losing streak. It marked the second time this year that the Scots have shot at least 56 percent from the ... (click for more)

2 People Shot And Killed On 12th Street After 1 Car Chases Another; 1 Vehicle Crashes Near Willow Street

Two people were shot and killed in the 2100 block of E. 12th Street on Friday night in an incident in which one vehicle was chasing another. One of the vehicles crashed, landing on another car near Willow Street. Two people in the car that wrecked were dead when officers arrived. Police said the incident happened around 8:15 p.m. Police are looking for suspects in the ... (click for more)

School Board Approves 4-Year Contract Extension With Independent Bus Drivers, Who Say They Can Handle 100 Routes; Extension Given On Custodial Contract

The county school board on Thursday night extended the contract by four years of school bus owner operators, who said they could deliver on 100 bus routes. The board delayed until a special meeting at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Central High School the issue of whether to accept the offer of 100 contract routes. That would be handled by many of the current 49 owner operators taking ... (click for more)

Bakewell Mountain Community Thanks Commissioner Fairbanks

The residents of Bakewell Mountain want to formally thank Commissioner Randy Fairbanks for standing up for our community in protecting our property rights and families. He personally made several trips to our properties and homes to see how the proposed gun range would affect our daily lives with noise, traffic, and a decrease in property values. Sometimes the little guys need ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Lady Remembers Rex

Kevin Roden sits on the City Council in Denton, Texas (think the Dallas-Fort Worth airport area in the northeastern part of the state) and he is gearing up to run for a third term this spring. He’s already got his website up and, while the election isn’t until April, he writes on his blog every now and then. Last month he let his wife take a turn at it, which brings us to yesterday’s ... (click for more)