Chattanooga cruises to 104-55 win over Tennessee Wesleyan

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC Athletics) — The Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball team featured four players in double digits and cruised its way to a 104-55 win over NAIA-member Tennessee Wesleyan inside McKenzie Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Following the win, Chattanooga improves its mark to 9-1 ahead of Wednesday night’s showdown in Nashville against mid-major power Belmont. Tennessee Wesleyan remains at 10-2 as it was marked as an exhibition contest.

“That was fun. I thought the guys did a good job once we got settled in defensively,” said head coach Lamont Paris following the game. “They showed a lot of maturity throughout the game which makes for a good ending in a game like that.”

HOW IT HAPPENED
Chattanooga jumped out to a quick 14-4 lead in the game’s first four minutes on David Jean-Baptiste’s second three pointer, which followed six points from Silvio De Sousa. De Sousa continued to dominate in the early going, collecting 15 points and four boards in just eight minutes, to put UTC up 27-18 (9:26).

The Mocs used a lethal attack from three to build a sizable advantage in the first half. Four different players recorded a trey, with two connecting on multiple, as the team finished 6-of-15 (40.0%) in the first 20 minutes. Threes came from Jean-Baptiste (2), Jamaal Walker (2), Grant Ledford (1) and Malachi Smith (1) to help the hosts take a 53-25 lead into the break.

UTC doubled up TWU in the early going of the second half, 66-33, on a Josh Ayeni step back jumper in the paint. The lead stretched to 48, 83-35, with 11:22 remaining after an Avery Diggs put-back capped off a 17-2 run for the Mocs. Jaden Frazier threw down an emphatic dunk on a drive through the paint to put the home team up 52, 96-44, ahead of the ultimate 104-55 final tally.

Chattanooga, who shot 58.0% (40-for-69) from the field and featured 12 players with at least a point, saw four players reach double digits in scoring with De Sousa (20) leading the way while Walker (19), Jean-Baptiste (15) and Smith (15) joined the Angola native. UTC tallied 31 points off 21 forced turnovers and limited the Bulldogs to a 31.9% (23-for-72) field goal percentage.

RECORDS – Chattanooga (9-1) – Tennessee Wesleyan (10-2)

SERIES – Chattanooga now leads the all-time series 51-18.

NOTES TO KNOW
– 5th straight game with a 20pt scorer… Malachi Smith (3x) & Silvio DeSousa (2x)… last time with five straight games of at least one 20pt scorer? Feb. 8-22, 2020: Matt Ryan (3x), Ramon Vila (2x), David Jean-Baptiste & Maurice Commander each registered 20 points during that streak.

– 58.0 percent shooting (40-69) is a season high… fourth time with 50 percent or better on the year including last two and three of the last four… shooting 50.8 percent (132-260) during 4-game win streak… tied season best for 3pt made with 12…also had 12 in wins over Covenant and at Lipscomb.

– Jamaal Walker registered 19 points and three steals in 25 minutes off the bench… career high in both categories.

Check out all the notes at the link above.

QUOTABLE
“Aside from a win, there’s a lot of things we worked on today. Honestly, I think I do more actual coaching in a game like this than a vast majority than other games from a teaching perspective. You got guys that are in there with different guys they haven’t played with and guys that haven’t played as much. There’s a lot more teaching and a lot more patience. It never fails, turnovers are still going to affect me the same way.” – head coach Lamont Paris on today’s positives.

“It’s exciting. That’s what you play for. It’s almost like a statement game. That’s what you ask for. These are the games you get excited for when the schedule comes out.” – Jamaal Walker on upcoming matchup with Belmont on Wednesday.

“I tell my teammates all the time, we are setting ourselves up to be on the big stage. Just being locked in and understanding our assignments, that will define how conference play goes and we’re looking forward to it.” – Silvio De Sousa on the upcoming stretch of games.

Categories: Sports, Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UTC Mocs