Stephens Scores 27 In Mocs' 81-74 Win At Tennessee Tech

  • Wednesday, November 30, 2022
 The Chattanooga Mocs men's basketball team used a dominant second-half performance on both sides of the floor to capture its second-straight win after defeating Tennessee Tech 81-74 on Wednesday night inside the Eblen Center in Cookeville, Tenn.
 
Following the win, Chattanooga improves to 4-3 on the season and pulls north of .500 for the first time. Tennessee Tech drops to 3-5 this year after the loss.
 
Trailing by 11 at the break, the Mocs used a lethal shooting and defensive attack in the final 20 minutes to help erase the deficit.
UTC shot 80.0% (12-of-15) from the floor including a 77.8% (7-of-9) mark from deep in the second half while holding TTU to 31.4% (11-of-35) and 14.3% (1-of-7) marks, respectively,
 
"We're still figuring out a lot of things, whether it's the lineup, how deep we are, how we can play, all that good stuff. It was a poor first half and allowed them to shoot the three, they were feeling good about themselves and I don't think we did a good enough job defensively," said head coach Dan Earl.

"I give a ton of credit to Tennessee Tech. This was a very scary team because they do a lot of things well. For us to respond, it shows some toughness and grit. It was a great response from our guys."

HOW IT HAPPENED
Jake Stephens accounted for seven points in the game's first four-plus minutes to match a hot-shooting start from Tennessee Tech, allowing for a 10-10 tie at the first media timeout (15:53). The scoring continued from both teams as UTC took a 22-19 (11:08) lead following a Randy Brady three on the left wing.
 
The Golden Eagles opened up a four-point lead, 31-27 (6:56), after rolling on a 7-0 run while holding the Mocs scoreless for nearly three minutes. The hosts continued its run to close the first half and took a 45-34 lead into the break after shooting 77.8% (7-of-9) from deep and 55.2% (16-of-29) from the floor in total.
 
Chattanooga found its stroke from behind the arc to kick-start an early second half surge as the squad knocked down four of its first five attempts to cut the deficit to three, 49-46 (15:46), and force TTU into a timeout. The Mocs and Golden Eagles continued to go back-and-forth with the score separated by three, 55-52 (11:55), in favor of TTU.
 
UTC clawed its way back into the lead for the first time since the 9:22 mark in the first half (27-24) when Stephens scored seven quick points to bring the score to 65-64 (6:30). The Mocs would hold the lead the rest of the way as they closed out the 81-74 victory.
 
Stephens led all scorers with his second-straight 27-point performance while also notching his third-straight double-double behind a 10-rebound effort. He also added six assists and two blocks in the win. Dalvin White connected on a season-high five threes and ended with 17 points.

NEXT UP – at Gardner-Webb – Saturday, Dec. 3 – 12:00 p.m. ET – Boiling Springs, N.C.
 
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