Mocs' defense struggles again in 85-61 loss at Elon - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Mocs' defense struggles again in 85-61 loss at Elon

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ELON, N.C. (AP) - Jack Isenbarger scored 23 points, including the 1,000th of his career, as Elon won its fourth straight game, beating Chattanooga 85-61 Thursday night in Southern Conference action.

Isenbarger hit 8 of 18 from the field, including 7 of 13 from 3-point range, as he became the 35th player in program history to eclipse 1,000 points.

"Elon can shoot the basketball and our kids knew that," Mocs' coach John Shulman said. "You have to be able to guard three-point shooters, but for the fifth or sixth game we've let a shooter get loose and go crazy."

Chattanooga now given up at least 85 points in four straight games, three of them losses, and has fallen behind by double digits in the first half of each contest, as well.

Chattanooga (8-12, 3-4), which was hitting 44 percent from the field over its past nine games, made just 30.6 percent (19 of 62) Thursday, including 26.5 percent (9 of 34) in the second half. The Mocs were leading the SoCon with a plus-4.6 rebound margin but were beaten 42-41 on the boards by Elon.

"We made some bone-head plays," Shulman said. "You have to know personnel, and I think that is because we are youthful. You have to know who the shooter is, and we did a poor job of adjusting to that.

"But still, we played poorly, we were down by 10, we fought back and it should have been a five-point game. Then it got away from us really quick."

The Mocs trailed by ten at the break, and managed to cut the deficit to seven early in the second half before Elon responded with a 15-2 run to blow the game open. The lead ballooned to 23 points by the 12:48 mark, and stayed above 20 points the rest of the way.

"The lineup is going to keep getting shuffled," said Shulman, who started Sam Watson in the post over the struggling Drazen Zlovaric. "We're trying to get things figured out midway through a conference season, but give Elon credit because they shot the ball great. They are a great team and they beat us tonight.

"We will be going back to the drawing board as soon as we get on the bus."

Lucas Troutman added 18 points, Ryley Beaumont 13 and Tanner Samson 12 for the Phoenix (12-7, 5-2)

Gee McGhee led the Mocs with 15 points, and Z. Mason had 14 points and 13 rebounds for his third double-double this year.

"We had a tough game and didn't defend how we should have, but we are going to get better," said McGee. "I am more frustrated that we have to wait a day to play rather than just being frustrated with the loss.

"I am ready to play, and I hate waiting with a loss on my mind."

UTC will have to wait until Sunday to get rid of the bad taste. A concert at the Greensboro Coliseum pushed back Chattanooga's visit to UNC-Greensboro to Sunday afternoon.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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