It’s a glorious weekend ahead in Chattanooga. The Mocs men’s and women’s basketball take the McKenzie Arena for the first time in the regular season in a quest to regain Southern Conference trophies. The journey starts Saturday with the women taking on Hampton at 2 p.m., followed by the men against historic rival Tennessee State at 4:30
The Mocs and Tigers squared off 24 times over an 11-year stretch from the start of the 1971-72 campaign through Dec. 1983. The names included Moose McGary, Wayne Golden, William Gordon and Willie White for the good guys and Lloyd Neal, Monti Davis and long-time NBA power forward Truck Robinson from TSU.
This is the first meeting, 34th overall, between the two tradition-rich schools since Dec.
2003. Chattanooga leads the series 19-14 with a 15-5 mark since the move to Division I in the 1977-78 season.
Shooting woes plagued the Mocs earlier in the week in the season-opening loss at Eastern Kentucky. It was the exact opposite for TSU as it rolled to a 106-66 win over Alabama A&M in Nashville.
Chattanooga was led by David Jean-Baptiste’s 18 points and five rebounds. Matt Ryan chipped in 15 points and a career-best eight boards. The Tigers feature five double-figure scorers led by Carlos Marshall. Marshall started out with a 22-point effort making six of 11 from 3pt range.
There are several events planned for UTC students prior to the games. The coaches for the men’s and women’s squads have driven “Scrappy’s Taxi” around campus helping ferry students to and from classes. They’ve served at the campus Starbucks with the guys bringing starting post Ramon Vila behind the bar earning the title of “world’s tallest barista”.
There’s a student tailgate in the courtyard of west campus housing adjacent to the Roundhouse next to the tennis courts. It includes free food, music and games. Free t-shirts for students attending the games along with Chick-Fil-A sandwiches between games.
Prizes to be given away include two 55’ Roku TVs, Apple iPad, two pairs of Apple Airpods with wireless charging case as well as an iPhone XR.
The Chattanooga women’s basketball team will open the season at home Saturday afternoon against Hampton.
This will be the fourth meeting between the Mocs and Lady Pirates. UTC has won all three games including a 58-50 win over Hampton last year on the road. In 2017, the Mocs defeated the Pirates 64-52 at the Roundhouse.
Chattanooga opened the season at Belmont Wednesday night and fell to the Bruins 63-50 after an 11-1 run by Belmont in the fourth quarter put the Mocs down by 59-44 with five minutes to play. Lakelyn Bouldin stepped up in the game and led Chattanooga with 21 points and Abbey Cornelius had a team-best seven rebounds and nine points. NaKeia Burks added 12 points while freshman Dena Jarrells had four assists and sophomore Pare Pene added three.
Hampton opened the season with a buzzer beating win over Alabama (64-61). MaKayla Timmons, playing in her first game for the Lady Pirates, hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat the Tide. Laren VanArsdale led Hampton with 17 points, Ashley Bates had 16 points with five assists and four steals. Timmons’ 3-pointer made her the third Pirate in double figures with 10 points.