CHATTANOOGA---The Chattanooga Mocs went down-to-the-wire in a 66-63 win over UT Martin Saturday evening. They used a big shot and timely free throw shooting from Makale Foreman to pull it out.
Foreman had a career-high 18 points leading four in double digits for the Mocs. Rodney Chatman tallied 12 with 10 apiece from Nat Dixon and James Lewis, Jr. The Skyhawks’ Matthew Butler led all players with 27.
Butler tied the game at 57-all with a jumper at 2:27. Joshua Phillips finished strong at the basket on the ensuing possession on a nice feed from Dixon to go up two.
Chattanooga got a pivotal defensive stop with Phillips corralling the board.
Defensive rebounding played a key for 40 minutes.
Chatman had the ball in the front court and found Foreman waiting in the left corner. His 3pt was true for a five-point lead as the clock ticked under a minute to go. Both teams traded stops before the fireworks began.
Butler drilled a triple with 22 seconds remaining. The Skyhawks fouled Foreman with 13 seconds to go. He calmly sank two sending the visitors back on the offensive down four.
After a quick timeout, Butler hit another three with nine seconds left. A quick foul sent Foreman back to the line with a slim 64-63 lead. He was true with two more for the 66-63 margin. Chatman got a hand on Butler’s 3pt attempt as he rose to shoot. The ball caromed off the Skyhawk at 0.8 cementing the win.
“[Foreman] made a couple when we needed them, especially the big one late in the game,” coach Lamont Paris said. “He's a good shooter and he'll make shots. The shots that he got in this game he'll make more times than not.
“In my mind, I always feel like he's going to make it."
The Mocs came out of intermission strong. A 10-0 run made a three-point deficit into a seven-point advantage, 35-28, on two Makinde London free throws. The lead grew to 10, 43-33, on Chatman’s 3pt at 14:29.
UTC went cold. The Skyhawks held their hosts without a field goal for more the six-and-a-half minutes. The 15-2 run made it 48-45 for the visitors after Terrance Parker’s jumper at 9:05.
Lewis, Jr., got the Mocs back on the board with a layup with just under eight minutes to go. It see-sawed from there until Phillips gave his squad the lead for good at 1:58.
Defensive rebounding was a big story for the home team. They allowed UTM just three offensive boards grabbing 90 percent of their visitors shot attempts. It helped overcome a cold shooting performance making just 36.5 percent for the evening.
It’s straight to the road for the Mocs departing Monday to face former arch-rival Marshall. They meet the Thundering Herd Tuesday night at 7 p.m., with the game airing on the pay-per-view CUSA.TV.