Mocs Win 86-67 Over Visiting VMI
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
The Chattanooga Mocs used impeccable free throw shooting and a strong overall offensive performance to pull away from VMI in Wednesday night’s 86-67 Southern Conference victory. Junior Ramon Vila’s 23 points led the way including his setting the tone in the first.
The Mocs trailed for a mere 17 seconds as Vila scored three straight early trips. He ended up making all six of his first-half shots to give his squad a lead they never relinquished.
Back-to-back threes from Maurice Commander and David Jean-Baptiste stemmed an early drive in the second half by the Keydets.
That fight did not subside. They scored seven straight capped by Travis Evee’s three with 14:57 left. That cut the margin to six, 45-39. Vila answered with a slam and Commander took a charge at the other end. Jean-Baptiste hit another three, he was 3-3 on the night, to extend the lead back to 11 in short order.
That started a 21-5 run that culminated in two Stefan Kenic free throws as the lead reached 22, 66-44. It got to as high as 23 before settling with the 19-point cushion.
Vila was an uber-efficient 9-10 (90%) shooting and 5-6 (83.3%) at the FT line missing his career high of 24 points by one. Matt Ryan added 17 with 11 from Jean-Baptiste and 10 off the bench by Kenic. Kamdyn Curfman paced the Keydets with 13. Connor Arnold added 11, while Evee chipped in 10.
Chattanooga’s inside-out approach paid dividends.
"It's huge,” Coach Lamont Paris opined post-game. “I think if someone had enough free time to go back and look at all our threes, I think the percentage of them when the ball goes inside and comes out, I would guess we shoot a significantly better percentage than the others.
“I tell these guys multiple times that it's a luxury to have a guy like Ramon around the basket. One, he commands a lot of attention so you'll have better situations for yourself. Two, he is a willing passer. Three, he is a capable passer. Not a lot of times you have all three of those things from one guy."
The Mocs are on the road for two games before closing out the regular season with two of three in the Roundhouse. They traverse to Furman Saturday and The Citadel on Wednesday before coming home to host Mercer on the 22nd. Tickets are available on GoMocs.com or consider the new “All You Can Eat” option.