The Chattanooga Mocs lost a tough basketball game at home Wednesday afternoon.
Hoping to head into the Thanksgiving break on a winning streak and with a winning record, it just didn’t happen as the Lipscomb Bisons came on strong late in the second half to win, 72-66, at McKenzie Arena.
Lipscomb improves to 4-2 overall while the Mocs drop to 2-3.
UTC coach Dan Earl felt like his team’s slow start hurt, but that wasn’t the main cause of his team’s defeat.
“They are a really good-shooting team, but they were pounding down low and that hurt us,” Earl said during Jim Reynolds’ post-game radio show.
“We had a few bright spots, but we must get better defensively. We didn’t shoot the ball well in the first half, but luckily, they didn’t either. It was a little bit ugly at times, but we have a lot to learn from. Little things matter in games like this and those little things add up.
“But we’ll have to be ready for another tough one on Saturday,” he concluded, referring to the next game against Murray State.
Big man Jake Stephens was again the statistical leader for Chattanooga as he finished with another double-double, including 18 points and 10 rebounds.
He nailed a 3 from the key in the first 15 seconds of the game, but didn’t attempt another shot until seven minutes had elapsed in the second half.
Meanwhile, his teammates were cold from the field in the opening 20 minutes as they only hit nine of 33 shots, including three of 15 from long range. The Bisons were equally as bad as they sank just nine of 32 field goals, including six of 17 from long range.
The Mocs used a 7-0 run midway through the first half to turn a 10-8 deficit into a 15-10 lead following a short jumper by Sam Alexis with 11:21 before halftime, but just as quickly, the Bisons scored 10 unanswered points for a 20-15 lead with seven minutes remaining.
Jamaal Walker sank a short jumper in the lane with 2:24 showing to put the Mocs ahead by 24-23, but the Bisons scored the final four points for a 27-24 lead at intermission.
The Bisons scored the first four points of the second half to enjoy their biggest lead of the game at 31-24, but the Mocs hit three straight 3s to knot the score at 36-36 – the last one by Demetrius Davis with 14:44 to play – before finally regaining the lead 15 seconds later when Walker sank the second of two free throws.
The lead changed hands six more times the rest of the way and it looked like the last team with the ball might have the best chance of winning, but Lipscomb was able to sink six straight free throws in the final 15 seconds to win by six.
Jacob Ognacevic scored 21 points to lead the Lipscomb offense after only having five in the first half.
A.J. McGinnis and Will Pruitt were also in double figures with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Stephens had 18 to lead the Mocs while Davis, Dalvin White and Jamal Johnson were also in double figures for Chattanooga with 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively.
With Stephens grabbing his 10, the Mocs easily won the rebound battle, 42-30.
LIPSCOMB (72) – Asadullah 9, Will Pruitt 13, Benham 3, Boyd 4, Schner 8, Jacob Ognacevic 21, A.J. McGinnis 14, Murr, Clark, Asman.
CHATTANOOGA (66) – Demetrius Davis 12, Jake Stephens 18, Caldwell, Jamal Johnson 10, Dalvin White 11, Robinson, Brady, Alexis 7, Walker 8.
FIELD GOALS: Lipscomb 26 of 58 for 44.8 percent; Chattanooga 23 of 62 for 37.1 percent.
3-POINT GOALS: Lipscomb 7 of 19 for 36.8 percent (Asadullah 1-2, Pruitt 0-1, Benham 1-2, Boyd 0-2, Schner 1-2, Ognacevic 2-5, McGinnis 2-4, Murr 0-1); Chattanooga 8 of 28 for 28.6 percent (Davis 2-6, Stephens 2-2, Caldwell 0-4, Johnson 1-7, White 3-5, Robinson 0-3, Alexis 0-1).
FREE THROWS: Lipscomb 13 of 15 for 86.7 percent; Chattanooga 12 of 16 for 75.0 percent.
REBOUNDING: Lipscomb 30 (Pruitt 8, Asadullah 5, Schner 5); Chattanooga 42 (Stephens 10, Alexis 7, Johnson 6, Walker 5).
ASSISTS: Lipscomb 10 (Pruitt 3); Chattanooga 12 (Caldwell 5, Stephens 3, Davis 2).
TURNOVERS: Lipscomb 10 (Asadullah 2, Schner 2, Murr 2); Chattanooga 1 (Stephens 3, Davis 2, Alexis 2).
STEALS: Lipscomb 3 (Asadullah, Boyd, Ognacevic); Chattanooga 3 (Johnson, Alexis, Walker).
BLOCKS: Lipscomb 4 (Asadullah 2, Boyd 2); Chattanooga 4 (Alexis 2, Johnson, Brady).
HALFTIME SCORE: Lipscomb, 27-24.
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)