UTC Men Whip VMI In SoCon Opener

Kevin Easley Scores 26 As Mocs Roll, 83-65

Sunday, December 9, 2018 - by John Hunt

The early season games for the Chattanooga Mocs have been challenging to say the least, but they took a step in the right direction with a victory in their first conference game of the year Sunday afternoon at McKenzie Arena.

The Mocs, who endured a tough four-game losing streak at one point, have now won three in a row to get even at 5-5 with Sunday’s impressive 83-65 victory over the Virginia Military Institute Keydets.

The game was close in the first half with four ties and four lead changes, but the Mocs used a 6-0 run midway through the first 20 minutes to turn a 21-19 deficit into a 25-21 lead and they never trailed again.

While the Mocs are now 5-5 overall and 1-0 in Southern Conference play, the Keydets dropped their fourth straight game and are now 5-6 overall and 0-1 in conference play.

It had been eight days since UTC’s last win – a 71-60 victory over Tennessee Tech last Saturday – but they’ve had a chance to work on some stuff since that time and coach Lamont Paris saw some of the payoff on Sunday.

“We’ve had some of our best practices and we’re playing better, but it’s nice to get off to a good start and we’ll be 1-0 for a while,” Paris said in reference to the next conference game on Dec. 29 against North Carolina-Greensboro.

“We had some guys break out a little bit today and I thought our defense was much better in the second half.  I thought we did a nice job of attacking offensively and our effort and energy was good today.  We won’t live and die by the 3, but we’re capable of making them at every position and we shot pretty well from that distance today,” he added.

VMI coach Dan Earls gave the Mocs a lot of credit for their patience on offense and for shooting better than average.

“Chattanooga did an outstanding job of being patient and they got some really good looks against our match-up zone.  I’m not sure we adjusted very well.  We didn’t shoot the ball very well and it’s hard to be successful when the shots don’t fall,” he began.

“Bubba missed a lot of shots he normally makes, but it was a tough game for him overall.  And I’m not necessarily pleased with how we played today,” he concluded.

The Mocs canned 29 of 64 field goal attempts for 45.3 percent, but also made 13 of 34 from long range for 38.2 percent. 

Chattanooga missed its first 3 to start the second half before hitting four in a row as a nine-point halftime lead of 48-39 stretched to 62-48 before the first media timeout.  The Keydets never got any closer than a dozen the rest of the way.

The biggest lead came with four minutes to play when Kevin Easley converted a three-point play to put the Mocs up 78-58.

While the Mocs did a lot of things well in winning impressively, nothing may have been any more important than the job David Jean-Baptiste did on Bubba Parham.

The sophomore from Snellville, Ga. came in leading the conference at 21.9 points per game.  He was one of four VMI players to finish in double figures with 13 points, but he earned every single point and the most experienced UTC player got plenty of praise from coach Paris.

“We knew what kind of player he is and knew that it would be tough to defend him with just one player, but I challenged David before the game.  We tried to make his shots difficult, but David had an outstanding game and I couldn’t be any happier for him,” he said.

The 6-1 sophomore from Miami was the second-leading scorer for the Mocs with 18 points.  He also grabbed six rebounds, dished out five assists and had no turnovers while playing all but two minutes of the entire game.

Easley captured scoring honors for both teams as he finished with 26 points after getting 16 in the first half.  He also led the team with eight rebounds.

Jerry Johnson had 17 points and Jonathan Scott 11 for the Mocs.

While Bubba Parham’s 13 was tops for VMI, Myles Lewis and Garrett Gilkeson both followed with a dozen while Sarju Patel came off the bench to toss in 10.

Both teams return to action with road games on Wednesday.  VMI will be at Presbyterian while UTC travels to Georgia State.

VMI (65) – Lewis 12, Creammer 6, Gilkeson 12, B. Parham 13, G. Parham 5, Patel 10, Stephens 5, Bond, Arnold 2.

CHATTANOOGA (83) – Easley 26, Smallwood 3, Scott 11, Johnson 17, Jean-Baptiste 18, Brown, Caldwell 2, Kerby 6.

3-POINT GOALS: VMI 6 of 23 for 26.1 percent (Lewis 0-2, Gilkeson 1-4, B. Parham 1-5, G. Parham 1-4, Patel 2-3, Stephens 1-3, Bond 0-1, Arnold 0-1); Chattanooga 13 of 34 for 38.2 percent (Easley 2-3, Smallwood 1-2, Scott 3-4, Johnson 4-10, Jean-Baptiste 3-8, Caldwell 0-3, Kerby 0-4).

REBOUNDS: VMI 39 (Gilkeson 8, Lewis 7); Chattanooga 38 (Easley 8, Jean-Baptiste 6, Caldwell 6, Johnson 5).

FIELD GOALS: VMI 24 for 62 for 39.3 percent; Chattanooga 29 for 64 for 45.3 percent.

ASSISTS: VMI 10 (Gilkeson 4, B. Parham 4); Chattanooga 20 (Johnson 6, Scott 5, Jean-Baptiste 5).

HALFTIME SCORE: Chattanooga 48-39.


(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)


Cleveland State Cougars Outlast Roane State, 67-65

Cleveland State Women Drop Tight Game With Roane State

PREP BASKETBALL FRIDAY, JANUARY 18 McCallie at Baylor Cleveland at Walker Valley Sale Creek at Soddy Daisy Red Bank at Hixson Lookout Valley at CSAS Brainerd at East Ridge ... (click for more)

Cleveland State's men's basketball team hosted Roane State Community College Saturday evening, winning by a score of 67-65. Leading the Cougars was Delaino Walker who tallied a double-double, ... (click for more)

Cleveland State's women's basketball team lost a close game against Roane State on Saturday, losing by a score of 63-60. The match up saw many lead changes as the Lady Cougars battled Roane ... (click for more)



PREP BASKETBALL FRIDAY, JANUARY 18 McCallie at Baylor Cleveland at Walker Valley Sale Creek at Soddy Daisy Red Bank at Hixson Lookout Valley at CSAS Brainerd at East Ridge McMinn Co. at Bradley Silverdale at Chattanooga Christian Signal Mountain at Tyner Central at Howard Boyd-Buchanan at Notre Dame SAS at Grace SATURDAY, JANUARY 19 ... (click for more)

Cleveland State Cougars Outlast Roane State, 67-65

Cleveland State's men's basketball team hosted Roane State Community College Saturday evening, winning by a score of 67-65. Leading the Cougars was Delaino Walker who tallied a double-double, scoring 22 points and 10 rebounds. Maurice Dickson also lit up the floor with 16 points, 6 rebounds and a steal. Jonathon King had a double-double of his own, dominating under the rim for ... (click for more)

Breaking News

McNally Says New Governor Lee To Continue State's Success

Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge)said Saturday, following the inauguration of Governor Bill Lee by joint convention of the Tennessee General Assembly, that the new governor will continue the state's recent success. "Despite the weather in Nashville, today was a beautiful day in Tennessee. The inauguration of Bill Lee gave this state something not seen before in modern ... (click for more)

5 Arrested For Blocking Road During Women's Rally In Chattanooga

Five people were arrested during a Women's Rally in Chattanooga on Saturday. They were charged with obstructing a highway. They included Virginia Marie Moss, 57, of 981 Fairmount Ave. and Alaina Kailyn Cobb, 32, of 3615 Highland Terrace Dr. Also arrested was William Boyd Nix, 49, of 901 Siskin Dr. and Joel Ryan Willis, 52, of 5700 Roper St., East Ridge. Jean-Marie Lawrence, ... (click for more)


Jim Morgan - My Coach And Neighbor

Upon Jim Morgan's death, my mind and heart flooded back to my memories of growing up in Chattanooga. I thought I would share my fond memories of such a great man. A few thoughts for one of the sweetest and finest men I ever knew: I remember Jim Morgan "Coach" not just as one of his wrestlers, but as a close family friend, teacher and neighbor. While Coach was my ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

It seems there has been quite an increase in calls from telemarketers and I asked my man Cleo if he had any idea how to stop them. “What works if you are male -- Telemarketer: "Hi, my name is Judy and I'm with XYZ Company." You wait for a second and, with a real husky voice, ask, "What are you wearing?" If you are a female try this: Cry out in surprise, "Judy? Is that you? Oh my ... (click for more)