CHATTANOOGA (UTC/WRCB) -- The new-look University of Tennessee at Chattanooga basketball team made quite a first impression Friday night.
Gee McGhee led seven Mocs in double figures with 19 points to help first-year coach Will Wade win his UTC debut in a 119-56 rout of Division III foe Covenant in front of its largest season-opening crowd since 1995.
The announced attendance of 4,637 including more than 1,500 students.
The stat sheet certainly reflected the team's new "Chaos" identity as the Mocs (1-0) forced 34 turnovers while recording 19 steals and ten blocks. However, it still wasn't enough to leave Wade completely satisfied.
"I thought we played well in spurts," he said. "I thought we fouled a little too much in the second half and put them in the bonus too quickly. I thought we were a little fatigued in the first half, which led to fouling and walking them to the foul line.
"That's an area that we have to continue to improve."
UTC led from start to finish after opening the game on a 14-0 run. Chattanooga led 56-21 at the half and steadily padded its lead to the 63-point final margin, which was the Mocs' largest lead of the game.
McGhee finished 6-of-11 from the field and added a career-high seven assists, five rebounds and three steals. His perfect 7-for-7 effort from the free throw line was part of Chattanooga's impressive 29-of-37 (78.4%) showing as a team.
"Going 7-for-7 tonight at the line really boosted my confidence," McGhee said. "I am focused when I am at the line and I know I can make it. I don't let anything take me out of my game."
Z Mason turned in 16 points and eight rebounds to go along with a career-high five blocks, while true freshman point guard Greg Pryor finished with 14 points in his first college start.
"This is what we have been practicing since June," Mason said. "When we all got together for the summer and began preparing for the season, Chaos was all we focused on. Coach Wade was instilling the goals he wanted us to stride for and our team's goals.
"We knew our goals and we put in all the work over the past few months. It is just good to finally see it pay off."
Lance Stokes and Eric Robertson scored 13 points apiece, Martynas Bareika added 12 and Alex Bran finished with 10. Freshman T.J. Williams led UTC with a game-high 11 rebounds.
Nate Frierson led Covenant with 11 points, but his Scots managed to hit just 15-of-54 (27.8%) shots from the field.
A road trip to Radford is next up for the Mocs. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET Monday.
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