Mocs Win In Overtime At Western Carolina

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Chattanooga Mocs grabbed a huge Southern Conference road win topping Western Carolina in 83-81 overtime thriller. Yes, this one was so hotly-contested it took an extra five minutes to decide.

Martynas Bareika (Kedainiai, Lithuania) was the hero in regulation. He came off a screen and took a feed from Ronrico White (Knoxville, Tenn.) draining a game-tying three-pointer with eight seconds left.

Casey Jones (New Orleans, La.) matched him on the defensive end. Trey Sumler drove into the lane but his final shot was blocked by Jones to treat the Catamount fans to free basketball.

“Huge shot by Marty to send it to overtime,” Head Coach Will Wade stated. “It was the same play we ran earlier. We had the play wide open out of a time out, and the guy called a hand-check and Marty was going to be wide open. So we put that in our back pocket and knew we could use it again later on in crunch time.”

After both teams traded scored early, Brandon Boggs made it a four-point game with a three-pointer from the left wing to give Western the 78-74 advantage with 1:51 to play. It was still four points when White pulled the trigger from 23 feet to cut the lead to one, 81-80, with 23.1 ticks to go.

“Ronrico hit a huge three,” Wade added. “That three was huge. He hit it off a broken play. We were trying to go to the rim and they did a nice job covering Marty up on the switch. We were sliding him to the corner and he hit a shot. 

“Big play by Rico.”

Lance Stokes (Orlando, Fla) and Gee McGhee (Baton Rouge, La.) stepped up on the Catamounts in-bounds play. The duo tied up Tom Tanklewicz for the jump ball with the possession arrow pointing the Mocs way. Jones took the ball at the top of the key and drove hard to the basket. He put his squad up for good 82-80 with 13 seconds remaining.

Western pushed the ball down the floor quickly, but James Sinclair’s shot was off. White grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 4.2 left. He made one of two for the 83-81 lead. Tanklewicz’s contested three missed the mark securing the Chattanooga win.

“We have done a pretty good job coming from behind,” Wade said. “I just wish we didn’t have to come-from-behind. That’s the mark of a good team, just finding ways to win. 

“Now we have that confidence back, we’ve got that edge back and that’s what we need.”

Jones had 19 points, seven rebounds and three blocks for the Mocs. Z. Mason (Nashville, Tenn.) added 16 points and seven rebounds, while McGhee tallied 15 points and six boards. White came off the bench to chip

Boggs led all scorers with 22 points including four-for-six from 3pt range. Sinclair added 19 points and nine boards, Sumler posted 15 points with seven assists.

Both teams led by as many as nine points tonight; the Mocs in the first half, the Catamounts in the second. Boggs’ trey at 14:21 gave Western a 54-45 advantage. Chattanooga chipped away at the lead.

White nailed a triple at 11:23 to slice the lead to two, 57-55. Mason knotted the score at 60-all four minutes later. White hit three free throws after McGhee’s steal for the 63-60 lead at 5:38. That completed an 11-3 run for the Mocs.

The home team fought back. Kenneth Hall’s dunk with 54 seconds to go gave Western a 68-67 advantage. Two Boggs free throw with 21 seconds remaining set up Bareika’s huge shot.

“It was just a regular shot,” Bareika said. “Didn’t even think about it sending us to overtime. It was just one more three. I knew it was going in. I had a guard right on me, but it didn’t matter, I knew it was going in.”

The Mocs are now 17-13, 11-4 in the SoCon currently in line for the No. 2 seed in the upcoming tournament. They’re tied with Elon and Wofford for second-place and hold the tiebreaker advantage. WCU falls to 16-14, 10-5 in league play.

Chattanooga returns home Saturday for the regular season finale. It welcomes Appalachian State to McKenzie Arena for a 7 p.m., tip on Senior Night honoring Mason.

Listen to the game 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.


Grace's Aruca Shines On Senior Night

Grace Academy hosted CSAS in a District 5-A match that was also senior night for the Lady Golden Eagles (16 –12, 8-2). Krissy Aruca, the lone senior for the Lady Golden Eagles, had a strong performance as Grace defeated the Patriots 25 – 5, 25 – 4, 25 – 10. Aruca collected 13 digs and 5 aces to spark the Lady Golden Eagles. Also contributing outstanding performances ... (click for more)

Grace Nets 9-0 Soccer Win

The Grace Academy Lady Golden Eagles kept themselves in a tie for first place in district 5-A/AA with a 9-0 win over Sweetwater High School Tuesday night. It took Grace Academy about 15 minutes to net its first goal, but then the goals came quickly. Kayla Bibbs and Maddie Ferrel led the way for Grace scoring two goals each while five other Lady Golden Eagles scored once.  ... (click for more)

Teen, 17, Charged With Aggravated Rape In Attack On 69-Year-Old North Chattanooga Runner

A 17-year-old has been charged with aggravated rape in connection with an attack on a 69-year-old runner in North Chattanooga on Monday morning. The teen was identified by Juvenile Court officials as Diontae Smartt. Authorities said he has given a confession. Smartt has a detention hearing Thursday at 12:30. The incident happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. ... (click for more)

Berke Implements New Pay Plan For Chattanooga Fire Department

Mayor Andy Berke joined the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and leadership of the Chattanooga Fire Department to unveil the department’s new pay plan Wednesday afternoon. At a press conference at Fire Hall #1 on Main Street, Mayor Berke and IAFF Local 820 President Jack Thompson signed a memorandum of understanding which sets forth regular raises for fire ... (click for more)

Keep John Roberts, Commissioner Of Red Bank - And Response

It has been a week since the Red Bank Neighborhood Pride Association held their candidate forum at Red Bank Middle School. I was privileged to have been asked to moderate the affair. What follows is my interpretation of the current issues facing the citizens of Red Bank and, at the end, a summation of whom I feel should be elected and whom I will be voting for personally. First, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)