Saturday afternoon Southwest Tennessee Community College, the number 7 team in the preseason NJCAA rankings, came to town to take on Chattanooga State. Southwest Tennessee knocked Chattanooga State out of the TCCAA conference tournament last spring.
The season may be young but the stakes were high for both teams. The Tigers of Chattanooga State had their undefeated record on the line while Southwest Tennessee put their ranking at stake. The first half of the game was back and forth until Cade Crosland of Chattanooga State came off the bench and entered the game at the 10:26 mark with the Tigers up 14-11. Crosland provided a spark for his team on both sides on the ball. The Tigers went on a 21-14 run to close out the first half and take a 35-25 lead into the break.
Southwest Tennessee came out in the second half and chipped away at Chattanooga State’s lead. Southwest Tennessee was led by Brandon Key who had 14 points on the night and went 6 of 8 from the free throw stripe. With 3:13 remaining in the game and with Chattanooga State up 60-51 Southwest Tennessee decided to go to a full court press on defense and that gave the Tigers a fit. The Tigers committed several turnovers and struggled to get the ball across mid court. Southwest Tennessee would score 6 straight points and pull within 3 at 60-57 with 39 seconds remaining.
Chattanooga State would be forced to use their last 2 timeouts after not being able to inbound the ball before they were able to draw up the perfect play to get across mid court, score and draw a foul. After a made free throw Southwest Tennessee threw up a shot in desperation as time expired.
Chattanooga State won the game 63-57 to move to 5-0 and 2-0 in conference play. Southwest Tennessee falls to 1-2 and 0-2 in conference play.
Orlando Moore led the Tigers in scoring with 11 points. Chattanooga State shot 14-25 from the free throw line as a team.
Chattanooga State returns to action for their third straight home game on Monday night versus Snead State Community College at 5:30 p.m.