London, Dixon Lead Mocs To SoCon Hoops Win

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Makinde London and Nat Dixon scored 21 points apiece in a thrilling 78-71 win over Samford in McKenzie Arena. London added 19 rebounds, the most in a Southern Conference regular season game in school history.

Rebounding was a pivotal part of the game. The Mocs out-boarded Samford by 26, 55-29, with a career-high nine from Joshua Phillips. Makale Foreman and Rodney Chatman also scored in double figures with 13 and 12, respectively, while the latter added seven rebounds and five assists. 

Demetrius Denzel-Dyson had a game-high 27 to lead Samford. Eric Adams added 11 points and a team-best seven rebounds, while Alex Thompson chipped in 10 points.

The Mocs led for nearly 90 percent of the contest.
Their 15 point lead at the break, 37-22, was the largest of the season, and it rose to a game-high 19, 43-24, on London’s jumper with 16:57 to play.

The Bulldogs answered that tally with a 10-0 run to cut it to nine, 43-34, on Justin Coleman’s three at 14:22. London stopped the spurt 27 seconds later with a triple of his own. Samford scored the next seven points to get within five, 46-41, on Triston Chambers layup at 13:23.

Chattanooga did not break. It turned it around 16-3 run of its own. Dixon’s jumper off a drive into the paint with 8:54 on the clock made it 64-46 and a comfortable cushion. That cushion did not last.

It was still a 16-point affair on Dixon’s deep triple with 5:35 to go, 69-53. The shot reminded the Mocs faithful of Ty Patterson’s epic launch at the end of the shot clock in the Southern Conference Championship win over College of Charleston in 2009. The Bulldogs were not shaken.

Samford’s 18-2 run over the next three minutes cut the margin to a mere two, 71-69, when Denzel-Dyson drilled a three in front of his bench just inside the three-minute mark. The Mocs held it together through it all.

“We’ve been weathered,” London shared. “I think we've been in a lot of these tough situations [over the last four games]. We all had this sense of feeling that it's time. We kept attacking every day and every game the same way we have been.

“With focus, hustle, all the little things we have to put together to get a win. Everyone was doing their job tonight and those are the things we preach."

After defensive stops on both ends, Chatman made the play of the night. The shot clock ticking ever so close to a violation, he drove to the center of the paint and lofted a floater over the tight defense. It bounded it a bit then fell true for a four-point lead with 1:35 remaining.

A missed three for Coleman led to a free throw from Chatman. Thompson’s layup was off the mark and Chatman followed with an aggressive drive to the basket ending with a layup and the 76-69 advantage with 25 ticks left. The two teams traded scoring trips for the 78-71 final.

The battle of the glass was an important factor because the Mocs turned the ball over 22 times. Just two of those came in the final flurry from 5:35 left, but both came with Denzel-Dyson scores to cut it to two. Despite the momentum shift, the young Mocs found a way to grab the victory.

"It feels great to get a win,” Coach Lamont Paris added. “I can't lie. It feels good, especially for the guys. They needed that. They needed to get a win. We've played really hard and very well over a nice little stretch of four or five games.

“Not that deserving means anything, but they deserves to be on the right side of this one. As excited as I was for them, we still have to know some of things we did were potentially catastrophic to winning a game. Luckily we built enough cushion to weather the storm.

“It feels good for the guys.”


FOOTBALL     FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19 Father Ryan at Baylor Bradley at William Blount Brainerd at Tyner Central at Hixson Notre Dame at Chattanooga Christian Cleveland at Ooltewah East Hamilton at Anderson Co. East Ridge at Howard Grace at Mt. Juliet Christian Sunbright at Lookout Valley Loudon at Marion ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Middle School Tennis Tournament Held This Week

The sun was shining and tennis balls were flying when 150 middle school students from all over Hamilton County pounced on Champions Tennis Club for the district tennis tournament.  All sides of the county were represented with boys and girls singles as well as boys and girls doubles teams playing one another.  Players did an excellent job of keeping score and calling lines.  ... (click for more)

Charles Pipkens Arrested In Series Of Violent Home Invasions

Chattanooga Police have arrested Charles Dijon Pipkens as one of the suspects in a series of violent home invasions. Pipkens, 27, of 434 N. Hickory St., is charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, unlawfully carrying a weapon, use of a weapon during the commission of a felony, and criminal impersonation. Police ... (click for more)

County Schools To Push Forward With Equity Effort; Magnet Schools To Get More Diversity With Lottery Change

The county schools will push forward with an equity effort that appeared to have been paused after board members Rhonda Thurman and Joe Smith in May said  they rejected the idea that county schools need to “racially and economically integrate.” An equity task force did not meet for several months and the schools did not move forward on hiring an outside consultant to help ... (click for more)

Drink Up, Chattanooga

I attended the meeting to discuss the placement of the sewage treatment plant at the Cambridge Center in Ooltewah today. My problem with the meeting (aka) dog and pony show, is that the meeting started out with the agenda of the Ooltewah Community Council.  After living in this area for 45+ years I have never heard of this group.  I would like for someone to answer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Lee In A Landslide

The first time I met Bill Lee, the guy who is triggering a huge turnout of Tennessee voters across the state, I instantly liked him, admired him, and must have told a dozen friends that day we have the most exciting guy going to the Governor’s Mansion we’ve ever had. The best reason is because Bill Lee is real. His opponent, Karl Dean, is a Democrat and a longtime politician. Go ... (click for more)