CHAPEL HILL (GoMocs.com)---The Chattanooga Mocs dropped a 97-57 decision at No. 6 North Carolina Sunday afternoon. It was the first loss of the season after Friday's 82-69 win at Tennessee.
"Terrific team (UNC)," Coach Matt McCall said. "They are just so talented and so good. They have multiple weapons on that team that run the team so well. They are a top-five program in the country for a reason."
The Mocs got off to a good start and led 26-23 on a three-point play by Casey Jones with 7:49 left in the opening frame. The Tar Heels responded out-scoring their visitors 21-5 over the next 7:48 before Greg Pryor's jumper at the buzzer sent the game into the locker room at 44-33.
"I thought we played pretty well in the first half before we found ourselves in foul trouble, and they went on a little run to close out the first half," he continued. "We just didn't string together enough stops out of the locker room into the second half.
"You can't do that against a team of this caliber. When you don't get those stops, it's going to be a long night for you against this team."
UNC did not open the door for a comeback. It went on a 9-0 run after intermission capped by two Joel Berry III free throws just 2:08 into the second. The Mocs twice cut it to 18, but an 11-0 spurt put the game out of reach.
Pryor scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the first half. Tuoyo led the effort on the boards with nine, while Casey Jones added 10 points.
UNC had six reach double figures with Joel Berry III leading the way with 18. Kennedy Meeks posted 14 points and 12 rebounds, with Isaiah Hicks (13), Tony Bradley (12), Kenny Williams (11) and Justin Jackson (10) following.
A cold shooting night plagued the Scenic City lads. They hit just 34.9 percent (22-63) from the field, including 25.9 percent (7-27) from 3pt range. The Tar Heels fired 48.6 percent (34-70), while owning a 19-rebound advantage (51-32).
"I told our guys not to let today take away the joy of what we did Friday night at Tennessee," McCall added. "We can't let today affect us going forward with three games this, one of which is at home. It's going to be good to get back home, practice and work on getting better."
The Mocs return to the friendly confines of McKenzie Arena Wednesday for the home opener against Hiwassee. Game time is 7 p.m. The contest airs on the Mocs Sports Network via 96.1 the Legend in Chattanooga. Links to live stats, video (SoCon Digital Network) and audio (Mocs Sports Network) are on GoMocs.com's men's basketball schedule page.