Mocs Dip Under .500 in SoCon After Losing 77-69 to Furman

(gomocs.com)

CHATTANOOGA – The Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball team went cold down the stretch and allowed an 11-3 run to close the game during a 77-69 loss to Southern Conference foe Furman on Wednesday night inside McKenzie Arena.Following the loss, Chattanooga falls to 11-9 overall and 3-4 in SoCon action. Furman, the preseason favorite, improved to 14-6 overall and 5-2 inside league play.Tied at 66-66 with over four minutes to play, Furman ended the contest on an 11-3 run and held Chattanooga scoreless for nearly the entire duration of the closing 4:18. The Mocs found themselves in a disadvantage in turnovers, 15-9, which led to a 21-9 tally in favor of the Paladins in points off turnovers. “Certainly, turnovers hurt. Seven assists-to-15 turnovers is just too much. Credit to Furman, they played really physical and aggressive,” said head coach Dan Earl. “The most disappointing thing is, I thought they were faster to the ball to us most of the night. 50/50 balls, loose balls, rebounds, they just seemed to be moving faster. We have to figure that out sooner rather than later.” Jake Stephens finished with a game-high 18 points and eight rebounds while adding in three blocked shots and two assists. Jamal Johnson (10) was the only other Moc to reach double figures in scoring while Brody Robinson provided nine points, two boards and three fouls drawn in seven-plus minutes of action off the bench.HOW IT HAPPENEDJohnson provided the offense in the early stages for Chattanooga as a pair of threes helped the Mocs build an 11-4 lead at the 14:21 mark of the opening half. Furman responded with an 11-2 run over the next four-plus minutes to take a 15-13 (10:17) edge. Both teams struggled from the floor in the first half as the two teams combined to start the game 4-of-21 (19.0%) from three. Furman held a slight 27-23 (6:01) lead before extending it to eight, 33-25 (3:52), on the help of a strong presence on the offensive glass. Chattanooga finished the first half on an 8-2 run to narrow the halftime deficit to three, 40-37, following a three from A.J. Caldwell and a putback at the buzzer from Stephens. UTC ended the half shooting just 23.5% (4-of-17) from three but converted 69.2% (9-of-13) of its two-point field goal attempts.After Furman grabbed a 50-44 (16:16) lead, Chattanooga answered with five-straight points to pull within one before the Paladins used back-to-back baskets to hold a 55-49 (14:52) advantage. Robinson entered the game off the bench and provided a spark on both sides off the ball, knocking down two triples while taking a charge on defense to put UTC ahead 64-62 (5:22).Tied at 66-66 with 4:18 left in the game, Furman took over with an 11-3 run to close out the game and secure a 77-69 victory. The Mocs were held scoreless for nearly all of the remaining 4:18 and saw its only three points down the stretch come in the final 22 seconds.RECORDS/SERIES – Chattanooga 11-9, 3-4 SoCon · Furman 14-6, 5-2 SoCon · Series: Chattanooga now leads the series 57-38.NOTES TO KNOW– Chattanooga suffered a 21-9 disadvantage in points off turnovers during the defeat… 15-9 disadvantage in total turnovers… the -12 point differential in the points off turnovers category is the most this season (11, vs. Belmont).– UTC shot just 27.6% (8-of-29) from three… moves to 0-3 this season when shooting south of 30.0% from three… the 27 combined made threes over the last three games is the fewest in a three-game stretch since the first three games of the season (26).QUOTESBrody Robinson on trying to earn more minutes.“It’s hard, but you always have to stay mentally prepared. It’s talking with the coaches about staying ready and being ready for that moment. It’s always about doing what’s best for the team. Obviously, as a competitor you want to play, but it’s that’s what I have to do, I’ll do it.”NEXT UP – vs. ETSU – Saturday, Jan. 21 – 3:00 p.m. ET – McKenzie Arena – ESPN+

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