BOONE, N.C. --- The Chattanooga Mocs dropped its second game in as many nights losing 78-68 at Appalachian State (12-13/8-7) in the Holmes Center Saturday night. Despite the loss, Chattanooga still leads the Southern Conference North Division at 14-13 overall, 10-5 in league play.
Ricky Taylor (Brownsville, Tenn.) led the Mocs with 21 points with five rebounds. DeAntre Jefferson (Bloomington, Ill.) added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Chris Early (Huntington, W. Va.) chipped in 12 points.
Omar Carter and Donald Sims combined for 41 of the Mountaineers 78 points. Carter had a game-high 22 points, while Sims tossed in 19. Petey Hausley came off the bench to add 12 inside for ASU.
It was a back-and-forth game to start the second half. App State opened scoring the first nine points for a 40-32 lead at 16:55 as Sims made one of two free throws.
Taylor got the Mocs on the scoreboard with a layup at 16:16. He and Jefferson combined for a 9-0 run of their own as two Taylor free tosses at 14:43 made it 41-40 Chattanooga.
With the game tied 45-45, the Mountaineers took control of the game with a 14-0 run to go up 59-45 on a Carter jumper at 10:24. Carter scored seven of the 14 for ASU.
Early ended the run at 10:08. His jumper got the Mocs back within 12, 59-47. The two teams traded three-pointers as Taylor's trey at 8:34 made it 62-50.
Carter and Sims got the Mountaineers built the advantage to 16, 66-50, at 7:51. Keegan Bell's (Hazel Green, Ala.) layup at 7:37 got the margin back to 14, 66-52. From there, the Mocs got defensive stops, but could not take advantage going nearly three minutes between points.
Chattanooga held ASU to just one field goal over 6:38 and just six points, but it suffered a shooting drought of its own. The Mocs went without a field goal for nearly four minutes in that stretch, a three-pointer by Omar Wattad (Johnson City, Tenn.).
There were 10 ties and 13 lead changes in the game. The final tie, 45-45, came at 12:25 on an Early layup. A 21-5 run over the next five-plus minutes gave the Mountaineers lead for good.
The Mocs got off to a good start scoring on five of their first six possessions en route to a 13-7 lead on the third of three straight three-pointers by Taylor at 16:34. But that hot start did not continue.
Chattanooga allowed App State to go an 11-2 run scoring just one field goal over the next 7:09. Nathan Healy capped the run with a put-back off an Andre Williamson miss inside to give ASU an 18-15 cushion at 9:25.
After Troy Cage (Baton Rouge, La.) scored three points in successive possessions to tie the game at 18-all, Early re-gained the lead, 20-18, for the Mocs with a layup off a nice feed from Bell at 8:25. The lead jockeyed back and forth the rest of the half as Chattanooga took a 32-31 lead into intermission.
UTC completes four straight on the road Wednesday night outside of league play at Georgia Tech. Game time with the Yellow Jackets is slated for 7:30 p.m.