Mocs Get a Career High 24 Points From Jamal Johnson to Beat the Citadel 82-63


CHATTANOOGA – The Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball team connected on 15 threes while Jamal Johnson poured in a career-high 24 points to help lift the Mocs to an 82-63 victory over The Citadel in Southern Conference action on Wednesday night inside McKenzie Arena. Following the win, Chattanooga snaps a three-game home skid and improves to 13-13 overall and 5-8 inside SoCon play. The Citadel falls to 9-17 overall and 4-9 in conference action. UTC saw nine different players connect on at least one three during the win, landing just one shy of tying the NCAA Division I record of 10… which was set by the Mocs earlier this season against Covenant. In addition to the electric offensive performance, the Chattanooga defense forced a season-high 21 turnovers which led to a 28-8 edge in points off miscues. “It was a great win for us. It’s nice to get back on the winning track, it’s good for the guys. They needed that,” said head coach Dan Earl following the game. “I thought it was an overall good team effort. We forced 21 turnovers which is always a good thing. We were able to get stops and make shots on the other end. We were able to get out in transition and get some easy buckets. I’m proud of the guys for their effort tonight.” Johnson finished the game 8-of-14 from the field including a 5-of-10 mark from deep to help accumulate his career-high total of 24 while also setting a career mark in steals with four. A.J. Caldwell (11) and Jamaal Walker (10) each reached double figures to help lead the scoring attack.HOW IT HAPPENEDChattanooga raced out to a 10-2 lead in the first three-plus minutes behind five quick points from Jamal Johnson, forcing The Citadel into a timeout at the 16:29 mark. A four-minute scoring drought from the UTC offense allowed the Bulldogs to pull within one, 13-12 (11:33), before the hosts upped the edge back to four, 20-16 (8:52). The Citadel took its first lead of the game, 24-23 (6:48), after connecting on seven of eight field-goal attempts over a couple minute stretch. The two teams went back-and-forth over the final moments of the opening half before KC Hankton banked in a three before time expired to give the Mocs a 41-38 halftime lead. Chattanooga created a bit of separation early in the second half as the lead grew to 13, 58-45 (14:13), after back-to-back threes from Jamal Johnson and Brody Robinson. The Mocs rolled on a 19-0 run to build a sizable 68-45 (10:45) lead heading into the final stages of the second half. UTC continued to keep a safe distance from the visiting Bulldogs behind a strong performance from three, creating a lead as big as 25, 80-55 (4:58). The hosts closed it out down the stretch for the convincing 82-63 victory.RECORDS/SERIES – Chattanooga 13-13, 5-8 SoCon · The Citadel 9-17, 4-9 SoCon · Series: Chattanooga now leads the series 72-20.NOTES TO KNOW– Chattanooga connected on 15 threes during the win… finished 15-of-34 (44.1%) from deep in total… improved to 9-0 this season when shooting 40.0% or better from three… 5-0 in SoCon play… 15 threes are second most this season and most against a SoCon opponent.– UTC featured nine different guys who made at least one three in the win… one different player short of tying its own NCAA Division I record of 10… previously set earlier this season against Covenant.– The Mocs forced a season-high 21 turnovers in the win… led to a season-best 28 points off turnovers… +20 in that category (28-8) also marked a season best.QUOTESDan Earl on the effort to break away in the second half.“Defensively, I thought we did an even better job. Knowing personnel was going to be the key in this game. They have a lot of guys who can shoot and get downhill. You have to know who you are guarding and guard them accordingly. I thought that was a big part of it, but making shots really helps everything.” Jamal Johnson on the career night.“I struggled a lot against Western, so I wanted to come out and be energized. Try to get some steals, play good defense, and it just happened the ball came around to me and I made some shots. I really just wanted to play with energy to try and get a win.”NEXT UP – vs. Mercer – Saturday, Feb. 11 – 3:35 p.m. ET – McKenzie Arena – CBS Sports Network

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