Mocs Bounce Back To Beat Southeast Missouri

Chattanooga Improves To 5-1 With 72-56 Win Over Redhawks

  • Sunday, November 26, 2023
  • John Hunt

It’s always nice to win following a tough loss in the previous game and that’s exactly what the Chattanooga Mocs did at McKenzie Arena Sunday afternoon against Southeast Missouri in the final day of the Coke Zero Sugar Classic.

It was a disappointing experience on Friday when the Evansville Purple Aces overcame a 20-point deficit in the second half before handing the Mocs their first loss in overtime, but that same thing didn’t happen against the Redhawks.

The Mocs bolted to a 12-0 lead in the first five minutes of the game and never looked back as they built a 15-point lead in the opening half en route to a 72-56 victory.

Chattanooga improves to 5-1 overall while SEMO falls to 1-5.

Chattanooga head coach Dan Earl was much happier on Sunday afternoon than he was on Friday when the wheels totally fell off offensively.

“It’s certainly nice to get back in the win column and I was really pleased with the way we played defensively,” Earl said in his post-game media interview.

“Southeast Missouri is a dangerous team, so it’s nice to get another win. When we move the ball around and share it on offense, we can be pretty good. So we’re just trying to stick with what’s successful for us,” he added.

“We got off to a really good start and I was happy about that, although we should have had a bigger lead in the first half and I’m a little disappointed with that, but overall, not a bad outing for us,” Earl said in his post-game radio interview with Jim Reynolds.

“I liked our defense, although number four (Adam Larson) got loose and made some big buckets. But we were active on the offensive end. We just have to keep working,” he added.

Honor Huff hit a pair of 3s in the early going as the Mocs had a 12-0 lead following a 3 by Sam Alexis from the key with 15:20 left in the opening half.

SEMO scored the next seven points over the next two minutes to get within 12-7 before the Mocs scored 14 of the next 18 points for their biggest lead of the half at 26-11 after Myles Che sank the first of two free throws with 7:27 showing.

Chattanooga’s lead was 35-25 at intermission.

The Redhawks never had the lead and got within seven points at 47-40 with 13:30 to play following a reverse layup by Rob Martin. But unlike Friday when the Mocs missed 12 of their 14 shots in regulation and 10 of 12 in overtime, the shooting percentage was actually better in the second half as Chattanooga sank 13 of 22 attempts from the field for 59.1 percent and ended the game at 52.3 percent after making 23 of 44 from the field.

The biggest lead of the game was 19 points and that came with 57.5 seconds to play when Myles Che hit two free throws for a 72-53 difference.

Alexis and Huff both scored 18 points to lead the Mocs, who had four players in double figures. Jan Zidek was next with 16 while Che finished with 11.

Larson was tops for the Redhawks with 13 points that included four of six from long range. Martin was next with 10.

Chattanooga also had an impressive 43-29 edge in rebounds as Alexis snagged nine, Tyler Millin eight and Randy Brady seven.

Chattanooga returns to action with a road game in Nashville against Lipscomb on Wednesday. They play on the road again next Sunday at Morehead State before returning home on Dec. 10 for a game with Tennessee Wesleyan.

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI (56) – Larson 13, Earley, Martin 10, Smart, Stacker 8, Biel 5, Idada 6, Ward 5, Eursher 5, Hanback 2, Elkamil 2.

CHATTANOOGA (72) – Alexis 18, Millin 4, Zidek 16, Huff 18, Che 11, Melson, Davis 2, Brady 3, Fitzgibbons, Cusano.

FIELD GOALS: Southeast Missouri 19 of 58 for 32.8 percent; Chattanooga 23 of 44 for 52.3 percent.

FREE THROWS: Southeast Missouri 11 of 19 for 57.9 percent; Chattanooga 20 of 30 for 66.7 percent.

3-POINT GOALS: Southeast Missouri 7 of 24 for 29.2 percent (Larson 4-6, Martin 1-2, Smart 0-2, Stacker 0-1, Idada 0-1, Ward 1-6, Eursher 1-4, Elkamil 0-2); Chattanooga 6 of 16 for 37.5 percent (Alexis 2-4, Millin 0-1, Zidek 1-2, Huff 3-6, Melson 0-1, Davis 0-1, Fitzgibbons 0-1).

REBOUNDS: Southeast Missouri 29 (Idada 12, Larson 3, Ward 3); Chattanooga 43 (Alexis 9, Millin 8, Brady 7, Zidek 5).

ASSISTS: Southeast Missouri 7 (Martin 5); Chattanooga 12 (Che 3, Alexis 2, Zidek 2, Huff 2).

TURNOVERS: Southeast Missouri 12 (Earley 2, Martin 2, Stacker 2, Ward 2); Chattanooga 16 (Alexis 3, Millin 2, Zidek 2, Huff 2, Che 2, Davis 2).

STEALS: Southeast Missouri 6 (Ward 3); Chattanooga 4 (Che 2).

BLOCKS: Southeast Missouri 2 (Stacker, Idada); Chattanooga 4 (Alexis, Millin, Zidek and Cusano with one each).

HALFTIME SCORE: Chattanooga 35-25.

ATTENDANCE: 2,907.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)

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