Mocs Get Sixth Straight Win After Beating MTSU 82-73

( MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball team continued its winning ways and upped its winning streak to six games following an 82-73 victory on the road at in-state foe Middle Tennessee on Thursday night inside the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Following the win, Chattanooga improves to 8-3 on the season and snaps Middle Tennessee’s 20-game home win streak inside the Glass House. MT drops to 7-4 following the defeat to the Mocs for the third-straight season. UTC opened the game six for its first six from deep and built a lead as big as 16 in the game’s first 10 minutes before the hosts cut things to as little as three in the second half. Chattanooga completed its third-straight wire-to-wire victory after pulling away late. “I thought it was a hard-fought win against a great Middle Tennessee team. They’re obviously tough to beat at home,” said head coach Dan Earl. “We didn’t take care of the ball that well, but we only allowed six offensive rebounds which is huge against a physical team. I thought our guys played strong down the stretch and we were able to get stops down the stretch. Really proud of these guys on the road.” Jake Stephens finished the game as the leading scorer for the seventh-straight game behind a 24-point, 11-rebound performance. All five starters reached double figures in scoring with Jamal Johnson (15), Dalvin White (13), Demetrius Davis (10) and AJ Caldwell (10) rounding out the double-digit scorers.HOW IT HAPPENEDChattanooga knocked down their first four attempts from the floor including three-straight triples to open an 11-2 lead at the 17:47 mark, forcing the hosts into an early timeout. The Mocs continued to be efficient on offense and took a 25-11 lead with 11:19 left in the first half behind a 10-of-12 start from the floor. Middle Tennessee pulled within 10, 30-20 (8:50), after a few Chattanooga turnovers led to four quick baskets for the Blue Raiders. MT continued to cut into the Mocs lead and trimmed the deficit to six, 33-27 (5:42), on a successful alley-oop. UTC immediately answered with five quick points behind a Stephens fadeaway on the low block and an AJ Caldwell triple in the corner to push it back to double digits, 38-27 (3:55). The Mocs went into the locker room with a 47-40 lead after MT ended the first 20 minutes on an 11-3 run. The Blue Raiders fought back to within a single possession early in the second half, 49-46 (17:31), before Chattanooga pushed its lead back up to seven, 62-55, and forcing a home timeout with 11:16 left in the game. UTC would hang on the lead over the next few minutes as they claimed a 68-59 (7:27) lead at the under eight media. MT used another strong defensive effort to cut it back to five, 68-63 (5:30), before Caldwell connected on his second triple of the game to bump it back to eight, 71-63 (5:01).RECORDS/SERIES – Chattanooga 8-3 · Middle Tennessee 7-4 · Series: Chattanooga leads 36-32. NOTES TO KNOW– Chattanooga won its sixth-straight game after an 82-73 victory on the road at Middle Tennessee… Mocs improve to 8-3 on the season… MT falls to 7-4 following the loss… UTC’s win snaps MT’s 20-game home win streak. – Chattanooga has not trailed in its last three games… wire-to-wire in three straight games… has held the lead for 118:52 of 120:00 possible minutes. –  Jake Stephens led the team in scoring for the seventh-straight game… finished with a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds… sixth double-double of the season… sixth game this season with at least 20 and nine… added five assists and four blocks.QUOTESCoach Dan Earl on moving forward.“Hopefully this builds our confidence a little bit. We have a lot of work to do. We’re not a finished product or even close to it. That’s individually and collectively. But to win a game like this against a team like MTSU on the road, it shows some toughness. Hopefully our guys add some confidence from doing that.” Jake Stephens’ thoughts after that win.“We’re resilient. That was a great team. They won 20 in-a-row here. It was a fun place to play and they do a lot of great things with good athletes. That’s a great game to win.”NEXT UP – vs. Belmont – Sunday, Dec. 18 – 2:00 p.m. ET – McKenzie Arena

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