Rodney Chatman and Makinde London posted new career highs, but the Chattanooga Mocs fell two points short in a 77-75 overtime loss to Jacksonville State. The duo combined for 47 points with 24 and 23, respectively.
Malcolm Drumwright keyed the JSU’s effort with 27 points. Norbetas Giga added a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds leading a decisive edge on the boards for the Gamecocks.
It was a see-saw battle to the very end. Chatman put the Mocs ahead 67-65 with 2:17 to go only to watch Drumwright tie it on the next possession before forcing a turnover and hitting a three at 1:44 for the 70-67 lead.
Back-to-back defensive stops gave the Mocs the ball with the shot clock off.
Chatman brought it up court, worked a deep triple that tickled the twine to knot it at 70-all.
The Gamecocks came down and called timeout with 3.8 seconds remaining. Chatman deflected the in-bounds attempt into the backcourt. Drumwright’s 60-footer was off the mark providing the rowdy crowd a little free basketball.
JSU struck first with Drumwright’s 27th point with 3:33 on the clock. London hit two free throws before a big mid-range bucket from David Jean-Baptiste. London tacked on one of two free tosses for a 75-72 lead with 1:42 left.
Sixteen seconds later Jason Burrell nailed a three to tie it. A missed opportunity on the offensive end led to a strong push by the Gamecocks. A missed layup by Christian Cunningham was followed by a Marlon Hunter offensive board.
Hunter missed a jumper and followed his miss to lay it in with 32 seconds to go. Hunter made a steal on the sideline but travelled to give the Mocs another shot with seven seconds remaining.
Chatman moved right, distributed it to Jean-Baptiste who got off a three from the right wing. It was off the mark, but James Lewis, Jr., corralled the board. The paint was too congested to get a shot off as the buzzer sounded.
Jean-Baptiste and Nat Dixon scored 11 apiece for the Mocs. Dixon’s efficient stat line included three rebounds and three assists. Burnell and Jamall Gregory each had 10 for the Gamecocks.
"We didn't perform well, but we performed okay,” Chatman explained post-game to the media. “At the end of the game, we needed to box out and get rebounds and that would have put us over the top. So to perform well, we have to do everything well, and I don't think we did that tonight.
“Coach (Lamont Paris) always tells us we need to compete. On that possession, we didn't compete as hard as we could and it lost us the game."
The final game of the four-game home stand is Saturday, Nov. 25, as Tennessee Wesleyan rolls into Gig City. Tipoff is at 7 p.m., on ESPN3 in McKenzie Arena.