NASHVILLE (gomocs.com) --- Eric Robertson and Duke Ethridge scored 18 points apiece to lead the Chattanooga Mocs (11-2) to an 80-56 win at Lipscomb (4-12) Tuesday night. It was a balanced effort with four in double digits.
Dee Oldham added 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Both are highs as a Moc for the senior transfer from UT Martin. Tre’ McLean chipped in 10 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Brett Wishon led the Bisons with 14 points. George Brammeier had 13 points and six boards, while J.J. Butler tallied 12.
Lipscomb led by one, 24-23, with 4:15 to go in the first half when the Mocs took control. A 12-2 run was capped by two McLean free throws for a 35-26 lead with 1:18 until intermission. Wishon cut it to seven, but the Mocs had a couple of answers.
"I think we just turned up the pressure,” coach Matt McCall shared. “We turned up the pressure at the half court. There was no pressure on them in the first 16 minutes, for whatever reason. We talked a lot about trying to keep them on the sideline because they try to run their offense through there, the hard cuts and the motions.
“Once we started picking up the defensive pressure, the game changed."
Johnathan Burroughs-Cook made a layup which was quickly followed by an Oldham steal, layup and one free throw with 3.4 seconds to go. Lipscomb’s Nathan Moran made one of two free throws to send the Mocs into the locker room leading 40-29.
The Mocs defense went into lockdown mode after an early Brammeier basket. The home team was limited to just 29 percent shooting (9-31) in the second 20, 16.7 percent from 3pt range (3-18).
The lead reached 20, 58-38, on a McLean jumper at 12:20. It reached its zenith of 29, 78-49, on an Ethridge slam on an alley oop pass from Jackson White at 2:45.
Ethridge scored 14 of his 18 in the second half three coming on powerful slams. Chattanooga topped 80 points for the seventh time this season. The squad is 9-0 when posting 70 or more.
"I've been talking to him in practice about when he goes to the rim, it has to be one of two things,” McCall added. “It has to be a dunk, or he has to play it off the backboard. Casey Jones and I were in the locker room telling him that. And he missed his first layup, because he didn't use the backboard and he didn't dunk it. Everything after that was a dunk.
"Athletically, there's just not many guys out there like him. He can go up another level from most people, but I thought he was into it. He rebounded the ball well and finished plays around the basket. "
McCall is off to the best start for a coach in school history. His 11-2 record is one win better than Ron Shumate’s 10-2 opening in 1973-74.
It all comes back to defense though. Chattanooga limited the Bisons to season lows in points (56), field goals made (19) and 3pt shooting (23.3%).
The Mocs start Southern Conference play Saturday at The Citadel. Game time is 1 p.m., on ESPN3.com. Check the men's basketball schedule page on GoMocs.com for links to tickets, video, audio and live stats. Follow @GoMocsMBB for live tweets from the contest.