CONWAY, S.C.( Tre' McLean's season-high 26 points and a very stingy defensive effort propelled the Chattanooga Mocs (5-2) to a 68-52 road win over Coastal Carolina (2-5) Tuesday night in the HTC Center. The Mocs limited their hosts to 37.0 percent shooting with the 52 points serving as a season-low for an opponent.
"I told them in the locker room that this was one of the best defensive performances I've ever been a part of as a coach," Coach Matt McCall began. "I thought our focus defensively was through the roof. Our offense was clicking early in the first half when we made some three's and built a lead.
"We got a little sloppy late in the game, but our focus was on the right things and when it got sloppy, we still played the right way on defense and got stops which is most important."
McLean added nine rebounds, three assists and three steals. He was also quick to credit his teammates.
"It's a reoccurring theme [someone different seemingly stepping up every night]," McLean noted. "It might be your night if shots fall, but we all have confidence in each other, so it can be anyone's night. We are always rooting for each other to have that kind of game to get a win. Tonight I had the hot hand, and we just rolled with it."
London had 11 points and seven rebounds. Justin Tuoyo matched McLean's game-high nine boards while adding four blocks. He has 19 blocks in his last four games.
Coastal was led by Jaylen Shaw with 12 points. Elijah Wilson added 11 which is five below his team-leading average.
The Mocs led wire-to-wire. It reached double digits early, 19-9, on a McLean layup. Demario Beck answered with a follow on the offensive boards. Chattanooga responded with eight consecutive points with three-pointers by London and Rodney Chatman sandwiching a Chatman layup for a 27-11 advantage.
It never got closer than 11 the rest of the way. Tuoyo's dunk with 17:17 to go made it a 20 points. It rose to as many as 25, 54-29, on Nat Dixon's layup three minutes later. A three-pointer by Michel Enanga with five seconds got the Chanticleers passed the 50-point plateau.
It was a tale of two halves offensively. They shot 53.3 percent from the floor and 3pt line in the opening frame before hitting 37.9 percent in the second 20, one-of-12 from beyond the arc.
One thing was consistent, the defensive effort. CCU shot 37.0 percent (20-54) including three-of-16 (18.8%) from three-land.
"We want to be disruptive and disciplined on defense and then get out on transition," McLean added. "That's how we want to play. We want to share the ball and get out for easy lay-ups, and I think we did that tonight."
The Mocs head back to Chattanooga for a three-game homestand beginning Saturday with ULM. Tipoff is at 2 p.m., on the SoCon Digital Network as well as locally on the airwaves on 96.1 the Legend FM in Chattanooga. Links to live stats, video (SDN) and audio (Mocs Sports Network) are on's men's basketball schedule page.