Chattanooga Men Crush Tennessee Wesleyan

Six Mocs In Double Figures During 112-51 Win

  • Sunday, December 10, 2023
  • John Hunt

The Chattanooga Mocs have been struggling lately as they had lost three of their last four games after starting the season with four straight wins.

They seemed to get back on track Sunday afternoon at McKenzie Arena with an easy 112-51 victory over the Tennessee Wesleyan Bulldogs. The Mocs needed an easy win and they got it. After all, the Bulldogs are an NAIA team with a losing record, so Sunday’s game was just a case of getting what the Mocs needed most.

It was a happy day for Chattanooga coach Dan Earl too as he celebrated his 49th birthday on Sunday, but he was more about his team playing well and he was pretty much satisfied when the final horn sounded.

“That was an overall good effort from our guys and I’m most impressed with the fact we hit 11 of 15 from long range as we had a really good shot selection,” he began after his team improved to 6-3 for the season.

“We lost a couple of tough ones on the road, so hopefully this will help our confidence level, but we have a tough stretch coming up and hopefully we learned something today. Not all of our problems have been solved, but we were unselfish with our shot selection and we also rebounded the ball well. Of course, most of our shots were wide-open looks, but I liked our effort. We still need to get more productivity from our bench, but overall, I’m happy with the result,” Earl nodded.

Jan Zidek sank two free throws in the opening minute of the game to give the Mocs an early 2-0 lead before the Bulldogs got a 3 from Amauri Young at the 18:25 mark for Wesleyan’s only lead of the day.

The Mocs bounced back with a dozen unanswered points for a 14-3 lead following two charity tosses by Tyler Millin with 14:29 left in the opening half.

The difference only got bigger and bigger as the Mocs had their biggest lead of the first half at 33 points with 33 seconds left in the half following a 3 by Noah Melson, who made all four of his shots from long range in the first 20 minutes as UTC had a 52-21 lead at the break.

Chattanooga hit half of their 34 shots in the first half for 50 percent, but the Mocs really turned up the heat from the offensive end in the second half as they hit 11 of their first 13 shots from the field and eight of their first nine from long range for a commanding 86-33 lead with 11:14 to play.

The only questions remaining were when the Mocs would top the century mark and just how much the final margin of victory would be.

Randy Brady nailed a 3 from the key with 5:07 to play for UTC’s 100th point. The final margin of victory was 61 points, six points shy of Chattanooga’s biggest margin of victory.

Perhaps the biggest cheer of the day happened when former Boyd Buchanan star Ryan Lopez grabbed a rebound and drove the length of the court for a layup and his first points of the season with 4:47 to play.

Chattanooga's biggest lead was 69 points and that came with 4:51 to play.

The Mocs had six players in double figures with Honor Huff’s 18 leading the way. Myles Che, Melson and Millin all had 16 while Zidek finished with 13 points and Brady 11.

Ty Hurst was the leading scorer for the Bulldogs as he finished with eight points. Zhaelin Callahan was next with seven.

The Mocs also had a sizable 46-22 rebounding edge as Brady grabbed a dozen while Sam Alexis had 11.

Chattanooga ended up shooting 61.9 percent from the field after hitting 39 of 63 shots and 18 of 38 from long range. The shooting percentages in the second half were spectatular as the Mocs hit 22 of 29 from the field for 75.9 percent that included 11 of 15 from long range for 73.3 percent.

Chattanooga’s next game is on the road next Saturday at Alabama A&M before returning home on Dec. 19 for their last home game before Christmas against Gardner-Webb.

TENNESSEE WESLEYAN (51) – Reed 3, Young 3, McPherson 6, Pride 4, Hurst 8, West 2, Runyan, Lovvorn 5, NDambi, Hardrick, Callahan 7, Jones 2, Rozier 3, Milen 5, Burrows 3.

CHATTANOOGA (112) – Alexis 9, Millin 16, Zidek 13, Huff 18, Che 16, Davis 4, Melson 16, Brady 11, Fitzgibbons III 7, Lopez 2.

FIELD GOALS: Wesleyan 20 of 61 for 32.8 percent; Chattanooga 39 of 63 for 61.9 percent.

3-POINT GOALS: Wesleyan 5 of 25 for 20.0 percent (Reed 0-1, Young 1-2, Hurst 0-3, West 0-2, Runyan 0-2, Lovvorn 0-2, Hardrick 0-3, Callahan 1-2, Jones 0-1, Rozier 1-3, Milen 1-3, Burrows 1-1); Chattanooga 18 of 38 for 47.4 percent (Alexis 0-2, Milllin 2-6, Zidek 1-4, Huff 4-8, Che 2-2, Davis 1-2, Melson 5-6, Brady 2-3, Fitzgibbons 1-4, Lopez 0-1).

FREE THROWS: Wesleyan 6 of 10 for 60.0 percent; Chattanooga 16 of 22 for 72.7 percent.

REBOUNDS: Wesleyan 22 (McPherson 3, Rozier 3); Chattanooga 46 (Brady 12, Alexis 11, Melson 4).

ASSISTS: Wesleyan 8 (Callahan 3, Milen 2); Chattanooga 22 (Melson 5, Che 4, Huff 3).

TURNOVERS: Wesleyan 16 (Hurst 4, Young 2, Lovvorn 2, Milen 2); Chattanooga 11 (Lopez 3, Melson 2).

STEALS: Wesleyan 5 (Callahan 2); Chattanooga 8 (Millen 2, Che 2, Davis 2).

BLOCKS: Wesleyan 1 (Lovvorn); Chattanooga 4 (Alexis 2).

HALFTIME SCORE: Chattanooga, 52-21.

ATTENDANCE: 2,901.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)

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