CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - The lessons continue for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga basketball team.
Raheem Appleby scored 30 points, including seven in the final five minutes, to lead Louisiana Tech to a 71-63 victory against Chattanooga Tuesday night at McKenzie Arena.
It was the fourth straight loss for the young Mocs, who were within striking distance in the final five minutes of each contest.
"The purpose of playing these games was to get better, and you're seeing young guys get better. It's just disappointing. They deserve better," Shulman said. "We could have beaten Kansas at Kansas. We could have beaten SEMO, could have beaten Troy and could have beaten Louisiana Tech. We didn't, but we gave ourselves an unbelievable shot in every single game.
"We have to learn how to close out a game and learn how to win it."
Kenneth Smith had 12 for the Bulldogs (4-1), who went unbeaten in their three games in three days in the Scenic City.
The Mocs (1-4) were led by freshman Gee McGhee with 19 points and Rico White with 10, but UTC again struggled from the free throw line (10-of-19) and committed 24 turnovers.
"We have to value every possession more," White said. "Everybody has to clean up something. If everybody cleans up just one thing on every possession, we'll be fine. We just have to clean up the little things because there is no doubt in my mind this team is going to be good."
An 11-2 run late in the first half helped the Bulldogs turn an early six-point deficit into a 42-34 halftime lead.
The Mocs played from behind the entire second half before finally pulling even at 58-all on Sam Watson's layup with 6:46 to play.
They just couldn't get over the hump.
Appleby responded quickly with seven straight points, starting with two free throws that put the Bulldogs ahead for good with 4:06 to play.
"He dominated the game," Shulman said of Appleby, who was 9 of 16 from the floor and 10 of 12 from the free-throw line. "We chased him around out there. That's all he wanted us to do so he could shoot floaters and get to the foul line. He's a really good player and a big time scorer."
The loss wraps up a stretch of five games in the first nine days for a Chattanooga lineup that features four freshman and is without injured point guard Dontay Hampton (knee) and forward Lance Stokes (foot).
Shulman said the Mocs have learned lessons from each game, but sooner or later, they need to find a way to win.
"Our motto going in was to fight," Shulman said. "I told them to stop letting people come onto our dad gum court and take something we want. I thought we fought, we're just not quite good enough yet.
"Our stats are not equaling our result, but they will. We have to keep doing what we're doing, stay focused and we'll be fine."
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