Mocs Stop Furman, 67-52, Saturday

UTC Remains In First Place In SoCon

Saturday, February 1, 2014
Casey Jones was high scorer for UTC with 18 points.
Casey Jones was high scorer for UTC with 18 points.
- photo by Tim Evearitt
The Chattanooga Mocs cruised to a 67-52 win today over visiting Furman in McKenzie Arena. Chattanooga is now 15-9, 9-1 in the Southern Conference which keeps it in first-place, a half-game ahead of second-place Davidson.

Casey Jones (New Orleans, La.) led all scorers with 18 points. Martynas Bareika (Kedainiai, Lithuania) added 16, while Z. Mason (Nashville, Tenn.) and Ronrico White (Knoxville, Tenn.) chipped in 10 apiece. Mason posted a double-double adding 13 rebounds as well as five blocks.

Stephen Croone paced the Paladins with 14 points. Kendrec Ferrara added 11 points and nine boards.

Chattanooga’s pressure defense was a key in the game forcing 19 Furman turnovers.

“The press was good,” Head Coach Will said. “The best it’s been all year probably. We’ve made some adjustments from the first game. When our guys press with energy like that, and we fly out of it back, it works well. 

“We forced 19 turnovers and got 10 steals so it was good for us tonight.”

The Mocs busted open a nine-point game at the half by scoring on their first four possessions after the break. Mason opened with a dunk off a fast break started by a Gee McGhee (Baton Rouge, La.) block. Bareika sandwiched a Mason jumper with three-point bombs to extend the lead to 17, 38-21, at the 18-minute mark.

Bareika’s third trey of the half made it a 22-point game, 45-23, with 13:59 to go capping a 17-4 start over the first six minutes of the second frame. The lead would swell to as many as 24, 63-39, on two Jones free throws with 5:04 to go. The Paladins scored eight of the final 10 pints to carve the margin to 15 for the final score of 67-52.

Mason made history tonight. He became the first player in school history to tally 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks in a career with his first basket and block of the game. The two occurred within a minute of each other in the first half. He now has 1,009 points, 592 rebounds and 104 blocks in his two-plus years.

“I don’t keep up with the numbers,” Mason stated. “I didn’t know how close I was in points until Johnny Taylor told me I was a point away on Thursday. I didn’t know about the blocks or the rebounds until last night. 

“I’ve just been focusing on getting better day-by-day.”

Chattanooga’s strong play has not gone unnoticed in the Scenic City. The crowd of 5,023 marked the first time since 1998 the program has had back-to-back crowds exceeding 5,000 and pushed the average attendance to a league-leading 3,875 per game. The last three home games attracted 16,333 eclipses all but two schools in the league totals for the SEASON.

It made an impression on Wade. It’s the first thing he spoke of when he sat down for his press conference.

“First off I want to thank the crowd,” Wade opened. “I think that was the first time since 1998 we’ve had back-to-back crowds of over 5,000 people. That was great, that was a big lift.

“I appreciate them coming out and showing faith in us.”

Jones scored eight of the Mocs first 10 points before foul trouble limited him to a mere seven minutes in the first half. Furman’s Keith Belfield hit a three-pointer at 13:52 to cut the Chattanooga advantage to 10-9.

The home team responded with an 18-2 run capped by a Bareika layup at 3:46 to go up by 17, 28-11. The Paladins fought back scoring the final eight points of the half as Larry Wideman’s trey with 53 seconds remaining sending the game into intermission with a 28-19 score.

The Mocs are back on the road next week for two contests. They leave league play on Tuesday night to take on Eastern Kentucky before heading to Samford on Saturday. Both games are 7 p.m., Eastern time starts.

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.
Martynas Bareika made 4 of 8 three-point shots.
Martynas Bareika made 4 of 8 three-point shots.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt


Massengill, Balogun, Hunt Spark Lady Hawks' 56-34 Victory

The nationally ranked Hamilton Heights Lady Hawks defeated MHEA, 56-34, Saturday in the Memphis Against the World Grind Sessions as Elizabeth Balogun, Treasure Hunt and Jazmine Massengill combined for 43 points. Balogun finished with 20 points and eight rebounds as the Lady Hawkins improved to 8-1 on the season. Hunt had 12 points and eight rebounds while Massengill had 11 ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Friday Action, East-West Classic

Clerk Shot During Holdup At Lee Highway Convenience Store Early Saturday Morning

A clerk was shot during a holdup at a convenience store on Lee Highway early Saturday morning. Paul Evans, 24, has non-life threatening injuries. At approximately  12:56 a.m.  Chattanooga Police responded to a person shot call at the Mapco at 6200 Lee Highway.   Upon arrival, Chattanooga Police officers located the victim. He told police that a man armed ... (click for more)

Woman Shot Twice By Estranged Boyfriend In Front Of Multiple People At Her Home In Dalton

A woman's estranged boyfriend entered her residence in Dalton on Friday night and shot her twice in front of a group of people, authorities said. Heather Renee Griffin, 42, was transported to Hamilton Medical Center and later transferred to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. Police are searching for Bertram Gerome Beck in the incident. At 7:35 p.m., the Whitfield County ... (click for more)

Connie McDade Enriched The Lives Of Hundreds Of Students

The message about Connie McDade was very touching. I was one of Connie's professors at UTC and thankfully she excelled anyway.  She was an enthusiastic educator, an exceptional person and generous individual.  She was a devoted teacher, loving wife, wonderful mentor and someone who will continue to bring joy to others beyond this life.   Future students ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Not Good People?

It makes no difference if you are a Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative – I believe we will all come up short this Tuesday when Alabama announces the winner of a special election for a new Senator. On one hand you have Roy Moore, a controversial judge who has been bounced off the state’s Supreme Court twice, painted as a pedophile by numerous accusers, and just observed ... (click for more)