CHATTANOOGA (UTC/WRCB) -- Keegan Bell, Ricky Taylor and Ronrico White combined for 53 points to lead Chattanooga to an 82-64 exhibition win over Tennessee Wesleyan Tuesday night at McKenzie Arena.
Bell led the Mocs with 21 points, making seven of nine treys on the night while adding four assists. Taylor had 17 points on seven-of-11 shooting and tied for game-high honors with seven rebounds.
White, a true freshman from Bearden High, made an impressive collegiate debut in 26 minutes off the bench. All 15 of his points came on five-of-nine shooting beyond the arc. He also had five assists and no turnovers playing both the point and off guard.
"I couldn't sit still the whole day," said White, who is the younger brother of former College of Charleston star Tony White. "I took a nap midway through the day and that kind of calmed me down. That's where I got my energy, but I was still a little nervous and I think I did a good job of calming down and just playing basketball."
UTC finished 29-of-56 from the field (51.8%) and 15-of-24 behind the 3-point arc (62.5%), a drastic improvement over last year's exhibition game against the Bulldogs.
"I thought we were very unselfish and took great shots," head coach John Shulman said. "I thought we took great shots from the three-point line. I don't think we're going to shoot 62 percent from the three point-line every night, but I do think that if we take good shots, we have a good shooting basketball team.
"We're going to take great shots. You notice if you don't take great shots, you'll come sit by me. It's going to be a hard lesson for some guys to learn, but they'll learn it or they aren't going to play."
Quincy Scates led the Bulldogs with 21 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Matt Harper tossed in 16 as well while grabbing six boards. Chattanooga native E'Jay Ward had a good night at the point for the Bulldogs with 10 assists and two steals.
The start was hardly crisp for Shulman's bunch, which turned the ball over ten times in the first half before ending with just 12 against 19 assists. The defense was also far from mid-season form, allowing TWC to shoot 50 percent (27-54) from the field.
"You have to play those games to have an idea of what you have to work on," Shulman said. "Now we have a great idea of what we have to work on, and that's defense and rebounding."
Tennessee Wesleyan started strong and still held a four-point lead with just under five minutes to play in the first half. The Mocs slowly came to life and used an 11-0 run to move in front and eventually take a 35-28 advantage into the break.
The Bulldogs battled, but they could not crack that seven-point deficit. Two Lance Stokes free throws at 11:02 made it 58-47. The lead would not be inside double digits the rest of the way.
A Bell trey at 2:02 capped a 10-0 run that gave Chattanooga its largest lead, 82-58. Bell's three and two Ricky Taylor baskets surrounded two Jahmal Burroughs free throws to build the lead to 24. Bell's bucket ended the Mocs' scoring as Scates scored the final six points of the game for the final margin of 82-64.
The Mocs played without last year's leading scorer Omar Wattad, who sat out the game with a back injury. He'll likely return to practice later this week and be ready for Chattanooga's season-opener at Indiana on November 13.
Backup point guard and former CSAS star Dontay Hampton left the game after only five minutes with a leg injury. He spent the second half on the bench with his left leg wrapped in ice. Shulman called it a "deep bruise in his calf."
Information provided by UTC Sports Information and GoMocs.com.
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