Mocs Pick Up Third Straight Win With 78-58 Victory Over VMI

( LEXINGTON, Va. – The Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball team earned its third-straight win in a dominating 78-58 victory over VMI on Wednesday night inside Cameron Hall during Southern Conference action in Lexington, Va. Following the win, Chattanooga improves to 15-13 overall and 7-8 inside league play. VMI falls to 6-22 overall and 1-14 in SoCon action. 10 different players hit at least one three to tie the program’s own NCAA Division I record which was set earlier this season against Covenant. UTC jumped all over VMI in the first half and held a 47-14 lead heading into the locker rooms. The Mocs shot a blistering 56.3% (18-of-32) from the field including a 55.6% (10-of-18) mark from deep while holding the Keydets to a lowly 15.6% (5-of-32) mark from the floor and 15.0% (3-of-20) tally from deep. The 33-point halftime lead marked the largest in SoCon play since leading by 38 (50-12) at Furman on January 9, 1997. The 14 points allowed in the first half were the fewest for the team against a DI opponent since 2017 (Alabama State). “I thought overall, a really good win. I thought we played the right way, particularly in the first half, defense was locked in and we shared the ball well,” said head coach Dan Earl. “VMI is a very competitive team and they do some things different defensively, they leave guys open and sometimes you want to shoot it right away. We did a really good job of moving the ball at the appropriate times and taking shots at the right time. It was a really good win over a competitive VMI team.” Chattanooga played 12 different guys during the victory with 11 finding the scoresheet including nine who scored five or more points. KC Hankton led the team with 13 points while Brody Robinson reached double figures for the second-straight game with 10.HOW IT HAPPENEDChattanooga jumped out to a 7-0 lead at the first media timeout (16:00) before the lead ballooned to 14, 22-8 (11:43), after a Jamal Johnson three forced a VMI timeout. The Mocs continued to apply pressure on both sides of the ball as a 14-0 run over four-plus minutes allowed for a sizable 33-8 lead with 7:50 left in the half. The run continued and amounted to a whopping 25-3 total, giving the guests a commanding 44-11 lead with just 3:44 left in the opening half. UTC and VMI traded points to close the first half as the Mocs carried a whopping 47-14 lead into the break. Chattanooga and VMI went back-and-forth in the early stages of the second half as UTC held a 56-21 (15:48) edge behind a 3-of-5 start from deep. The Keydets used a quick 6-0 run to cut into the deficit, 58-29 (13:35), before cutting it even closer to 64-42 (9:59) on the help of five-straight successful field goals. VMI couldn’t pull any closer within striking distance as UTC capped off the 78-58 victory inside Cameron Hall.RECORDS/SERIES – Chattanooga 15-13, 7-8 SoCon · VMI 6-22, 1-14 SoCon · Series: Chattanooga now leads the series 49-16.NOTES TO KNOW– The 14 points allowed were the fewest against a DI opponent since allowing 14 to Alabama State in 2017… the +33 margin at the break was the largest since +38 (50-12) at Furman on January 9, 1997. – Chattanooga saw 10 different guys record at least one 3PT made… ties own NCAA Division I record that was set earlier this season against Covenant… finished the game 16-of-41 (39.0%) from deep… 18th game this season with 10 or more threes.– The Mocs dished out a season-high 24 assists on its 29 made FGs…. nine of the 12 guys who played recorded at least one assist… the 24 assists were the most against a DI opponent since 26 against Samford on January 29, 2020.QUOTESDan Earl on return to VMI.“It’s an interesting feeling. Part of being at VMI, you live right on campus. My girls grew up here. We’ve been here for seven years, they grew up here. It was interesting to say the least. I’ve seen a ton of familiar faces. I have great respect for VMI and extremely grateful for the opportunity they gave me. I loved my days here and am very appreciative of everything. It was emotional for sure.”NEXT UP – vs. UNCG – Saturday, Feb. 18 – 12:00 p.m. ET – McKenzie Arena

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