The Chattanooga Mocs won their eighth straight game beating Wofford 71-57 in Benjamin Johnson Arena tonight. Junior Ronrico White (Knoxville, Tenn.) led five Mocs in double figures with 16. Chattanooga is now 12-8, 6-0 atop the Southern Conference standings, while Wofford falls to 7-10, 2-3 in the league.
“I am really proud of our guys,” Head Coach Will Wade said. “That was our most complete game – offensively and defensively – that we’ve played all year.
“I thought Greg Pryor was tremendous, and I thought Gee McGhee played the best he has played on defense,” he continued. “We made some defensive adjustments going into this game, and our guys executed them just perfectly.
“Give our guys credit, that was just a toughness game and we came in here and were tough as nails.”
Z. Mason (Nashville, Tenn.) was dominant in the post with 12 points, a career-high-tying 15 rebounds and five blocks. Martynas Bareika (Kedainiai, Lithuania), Greg Pryor (Memphis, Tenn.) and Gee McGhee (Baton Rouge, La.) each chipped in 10.
Wofford was paced by Karl Cochran with a game-high 19 points. Lee Skinner added 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
The Terriers trailed by eight at the break and cut the margin to five, 37-32, with 16:18 to play on an Indiana Faithfull jumper. The Mocs answered quickly.
They scored five unanswered points over next two minutes capped by two Pryor free throws to extend the lead to 10, 42-32. Over the next nine minutes, the Terriers could get no closer than eight with Chattanooga getting the lead to as many as 12 on free throws by Mason and White. The latter’s at 5:21 made it 58-46 for the visitors.
Skinner scored six straight points to dice the lead to six, 58-52, at 4:34. The Mocs were undaunted. A Pryor layup and two Bareika free throws pushed the lead back to 10. Seven was as close as the Terriers would come as Chattanooga closed strong.
““We executed well down the stretch,” Wade added. “I said we would get it corrected, and we did. Our guys did exactly what they were supposed to do. We clawed until the end, and we got the jump ball (Jones) near the end because we were just tenacious.
“We were all over the place and that was awesome.”
The eight straight wins is the longest winning streak since 1996-97 for the Mocs when that squad ran off 11 in a row. It’s the first time the squad has swept two SoCon road swings in a season since 1993-94.
“This is the first time in 20 years that we’ve won two of them…first time since the 1993-94 season,” he continued. “That is great, and let me say this; we are coming back home on Thursday night to play Elon, and they are predicted to finish first in the league. I want to see if we can get 5,000 people into McKenzie Arena on Thursday night.
“Our players deserve it because they have played unbelievably hard,” Wade concluded. “They’ve done everything we’ve asked. We need to have 5,000 people in there and have the lower bowl full.”
It was a great defensive effort. The Mocs limited their hosts to just 33.9 percent (20-59) shooting, the lowest shooting percentage by a DI opponent this season. They also turned in a plus-six turnover margin with just nine against 15 for Wofford leading to a 16-6 points off turnover advantage.
Chattanooga returns home again for two pivotal SoCon games next weekend. It starts Thursday night when Elon comes to town followed by UNCG on Saturday. Both games tip off at 7 p.m., with Saturday’s game part of a televised game on ESPRN3.com with the Mocs women taking on Samford at 4 p.m.
The games can be listened to live on ESPN 105.1 FM the Zone in the Scenic City, 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.