UTC Falls Short At Marshall 79-66
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Makinde London posted career highs with 25 points and 18 rebounds but in the end, the Chattanooga Mocs fell short 70-66 at Marshall. The loss spoiled a strong individual and team effort.
"The team worked hard and put me in position to get great shots,” London shared after the tough ending. “That showed tonight. I really don't care about the stats, just in the fact that we did it in a way together. This is going to bring us closer and it's a building moment. That's all we could ask for."
London was joined in double figures by Nat Dixon (13) and Makale Foreman (10).
C.J. Burks (23) and Jon Elmore (22) combined for 45 points for the Thundering Herd.
It came down to the final possession. Marshall’s Ajdin Perova travelled to give the ball to the Mocs with less than 23 seconds to go and a 67-66 deficit. Working out front, Rodney Chatman made a break for the basket. His layup attempt was blocked and rebounded by Elmore who was fouled with 7.7 left.
The Herd star made the first and missed the second. London collected the rebounded and started up court. His halfcourt shot was off the mark and boarded by Jannson Williams. He made two free throws with 0.8 on the clock for the final tally.
It was a six-point lead at the break for the Mocs when the Herd looked to take control of the game. They opened the second half with a 16-1 run over the opening seven minutes leading by nine, 46-37, on an Elmore layup.
"It's basketball,” coach Lamont Paris said. “They average 92 points a game. They made runs. It was at our expense because we missed three easy layups. The 16 points...I don't know how many possessions that was on.
“We turned the ball over and missed some easy layups. You make those and that run doesn't happen. It's basketball. Every team makes runs."
The Mocs chipped away at the lead, then the Herd would get a little separation. London’s three-ball with 11:13 to go cut the lead to three, 48-45. It was extended back to nine on a flurry by Burks and Jarrod West, but there was still eight-plus minutes remaining.
It was a five-point deficit, 60-55 as the clock ticked below five minutes. Dixon’s layup was followed by a thunderous London rim run culminating on a triple by Foreman for a 7-0 spurt and 62-60 lead with 2:45 left.
London free throws made it a 64-63 Mocs advantage with 1:53 to play. Back-to-back layups from Burks flipped the script, 67-64. London’s layup with 26 ticks remaining made it a one-point game setting the stage for the drama to come.
The defensive effort was strong limiting one of the nation’s most potent offenses to a season-low 70 points with a +12 effort (44-32) on the glass. The downside was 19 turnovers.
“We have to put it all together,” Dixon shared. “One night it'll be this and the next night it'll be something different. We have to grow as a team and stick together as a team. The opponents we have been playing are good teams.
“We're not into moral victories. We have to dig deep. We and figure out ways of pulling it out. Tonight was turnovers. We have to keep getting better."
The Mocs return to McKenzie Arena Sunday at 1 p.m., hosting Mark Price and the Charlotte 49ers. It’s a doubleheader with the ladies facing Virginia Tech at 3:30 p.m. Both games broadcast on ESPN3.