GREENVILLE, S.C.---Z. Mason and Casey Jones keyed a 72-63 win at Furman to open Southern Conference play. The Mocs have won three in a row and are 7-8, while the Paladins drop to 6-8.
1,200th Win: The win is the 1,200th all-time for Chattanooga baskeball; 1200-988 dating back to the 1915-16 season.
Mason (Nashville, Tenn.) and Jones (New Orleans, La.) were beasts on the boards with 13 apiece, a career best for Jones. Chattanooga held a 46-37 advantage on the glass for the game with 23 on each end of the floor.
“I thought our pressure took its toll on them, and we were really good on the backboards,” Head Coach Will Wade said. “We had 23 offensive rebounds, and we were all over the backboards. It saved us when we didn’t shoot it well.
“The guys did a really good job of adjusting at halftime,” he continued. “We told them we have to attack the paint. That showed with our free throws. It was just a really good team win. Everybody chipped in…we found a way to get it done.”
Mason had his fourth straight double-double, while Jones tallied his first. Mason added 20 points and a career-high six blocks, as Jones posted 13 points and a career-best eight assists.
Larry Wideman knotted the score at 32 with a three-pointer with 18:19 to go in the game. The Mocs took over from there with a 12-3 run capped by a Gee McGhee (Baton Rouge, La.) layup at 13:19.
Furman got within four on a Kendrec Ferrara three-point play at 10:25. A couple of possessions later, it was an eight-point game again, 52-44, on a Ronrico White (Knoxville, Tenn.) layup at 8:38 on a feed from Jones following the latter’s steal at mid-court.
Ferrara’s layup at 7:34 cut the margin back to five, but the Mocs would not be deterred. They went on an 11-2 run taking a 64-50 lead with 3:04 to go on Eric Robertson’s three-pointer from the left wing. It would get no closer than eight as Chattanooga hit five-of-six from the free throw line to close out the win.
Four Mocs scored in double digits with White matching Jones’ 13 off the bench, while McGhee netted 11.
Furman was paced by Croone with 19 points. Ferrara added 13 points and six boards, as Wideman chipped in 10 points and six rebounds.
Chattanooga overcame a tough shooting night with their work on the offensive glass. The squad shot 38.2 percent (26-68) including 28.6 percent from 3pt range (6-21).
“We are halfway done,” Wade added. “We have another game on Monday night. We have to be ready to flip it quick and turn our attention to The Citadel. Our guys were ready for this game, our guys were honed in and our coaches did a really good job on the scouting report. We did a good job of guarding them.”
The Mocs continue on to Charleston, S.C., for a Monday night matchup at The Citadel. The 7:05 p.m., tipoff is televised on CSS and ESPN3.com. The game 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, audio (free) and live stats. You can follow @GoMocsMBB on twitter for live updates as well.