Mocs see second half lead vanish in 68-66 loss to College of Charleston

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC Athletics) — The Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball team saw its 17-game non-conference win streak come to an end after allowing a 14-point second half lead to evaporate during a 68-66 loss to College of Charleston inside McKenzie Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Chattanooga drops its first game of the 2021-22 campaign and falls to 5-1. Charleston improves its mark to 4-2 following the victory.

“They have a good team and a scrappy team. They play physical and that was a factor for us,” said head coach Lamont Paris.

“You have to adjust to how the game is being played. We adjusted by being stagnant and not moving as much. In the end, we allowed 43 second half points and 13 second chance points; that makes it hard to win.”

Silvio De Sousa and David Jean-Baptiste provided much of the offense in the early going, combined for 12 (six each) of the team’s first 14 points to help build a 14-12 lead at the under 12 media (11:01). Jean-Baptiste found himself with four rebounds during that stretch.

At the under eight media, the offense continued to run through the tandem as the Mocs held a 19-18 lead with 7:25 left and 17 points coming from the duo (Jean-Baptiste 9, De Sousa 8). Grant Ledford knocked down a triple before Jamaal Walker posted his first two points of the year on a pair of free throws to give UTC its biggest lead of the half, 26-20, with 4:35 left.

The Mocs went on a 12-2 run over a four-minute span in the closing moments of the opening half to build a 31-22 lead with 1:47 remaining. The two teams traded points until the buzzer and went into the break with a 34-25 Chattanooga lead.

A flurry of points opened the second half with a combined 19 in the first four minutes-plus. Darius Banks knocked down a pair of triples, coupled by two emphatic slams from De Sousa, and the UTC lead grew to 14, 46-32 with 15:28 remaining.

The Cougars responded with a huge 20-0 run over the next six minutes turn the 14-point deficit into a six-point lead, 52-46 with 8:54 left. Jean-Baptiste ended the run on the next offensive position with his second triple of the day to make it 52-49 (8:25).

Charleston continued the scoring and saw the run amount to a 27-6 total, covering 10:33 of game time, to carry a 59-52 lead with 5:14 remaining in the contest. Chattanooga answered with five-straight, capped off by another Jean-Baptiste three, before a successful Charleston and-one made it 62-57 at the under four (3:54).

The visitors extended the lead to six, 64-58, on a fast break layup with 2:41 before the Mocs went on a quick 6-0 run to tie the game. Charleston re-gained the lead, 66-64, with 1:06 left before UTC had a chance to tie it again, this time on a one-and-one free throw situation with 0:18. The Mocs were called for a lane violation on the first attempt and turned the ball over.

On the ensuing inbounds play under the basket, Malachi Smith caused havoc and came away with a steal and put-back with 0:13 on the clock to tie it at 66-66. Charleston’s Dimitrius Underwood converted a tip-in with 1.7 seconds left ahead of an unsuccessful prayer attempt from UTC to give the road team a 68-66 victory.

Charleston scored 43 second half points and shot a blistering 56.3% (18-of-32) from the floor in the half including a 55.6% (5-of-9) mark from beyond the arc, all while holding Chattanooga to 32 points on 11-of-25 (44.0%) shooting.

De Sousa led all scorers with 21 points and added six rebounds and three blocks. Jean-Baptiste (18) and Banks (11) added double-digit scoring efforts in the loss while the former led the team in rebounding with seven.

RECORDS – Chattanooga (5-1) – College of Charleston (4-2)

SERIES – College of Charleston now leads the all-time series 20-12.

– Silvio DeSousa had a career-high 21 points… tied his career best in blocks with three… has five of the Mocs 11 blocks on the season… added six rebounds… 7-8 shooting from the field and free throw line.

– 18 points and season-high seven rebounds for David Jean-Baptiste… 6-12 from the floor making four of eight from long range… now has 216 treys made which is second all-time at Chattanooga behind Stephen McDowell’s (2008-09) 243… 1,370 points is just 15 shy of the top 10 behind Kevin Gray (1973-76).

– The Chattanooga Mocs lost their first of the 2021-22 season 68-66 against College of Charleston on Saturday afternoon inside McKenzie Arena… Mocs are now 5-1, while the Cougars move to 4-2… 5-1 for the 17th time in school history… snaps 17 straight non-conference wins…also 16-game home non-conference win streak.

Check out all the notes at the link above.

“There were some normal plays. Normal buckets by them, normal missed shots by us. I mean we gave up pick sixes. Those were free points and there was a lot of not being strong with the ball. There were a lot of things that contributed to the run. They were scoring and we weren’t.” – head coach Lamont Paris n the Cougars’ 25-3 run in the second half.

“We have to get back in the lab and work on things. It’s a game of runs. When a team spikes with momentum, we need to respond to adversity. Charleston is a good team, a well-coached team and they made a couple of tough baskets and made enough at the end of the game. This was a game we needed. We need to learn from it and respond to it. They did a good job being aggressive and having us back on our heels.” – David Jean-Baptiste on recovering from the team’s first loss.

Check out all the quotes at the link above.

UP NEXT – Chattanooga at Tennessee Tech – Tues., Nov. 30 – 7PM ET – 2021-22 Schedule

Samford 83, McNeese State 75 (Emerald Coast Classic)
at Mercer 88, Milligan 49
at Gardner-Webb 87, Western Carolina 59
at ETSU 92, Lees McRae 74
Furman 87, at USC Upstate 77
at UNCG 54, Vermont 51

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