GREENVILLE, S.C. (GoMocs.com) --- The Chattanooga Mocs and Furman went down to the wire with first-place in the Southern Conference on the line in Timmons Arena Thursday night. The Paladins escaped with a 60-56 victory.
The Paladins led 54-52 after Devin Sibley made two free throws with 5:32 to play. Chattanooga tied it almost three minutes later, 54-54, on Tre' McLean's layup on one of Justin Tuoyo's career-high-tying four assists. After Johns Davis III missed the front end of a one-and-one, Casey Jones put the visitors up two, 56-54, with 2:10 to play.
Daniel Fowler's two free throws on the ensuing possession knotted the score with 1:48 remaining. The two squads traded empty possessions for two straight trips before Furman had the ball with a three-second difference between the shot and game clock. Kris Acox scored on a jumper in the paint with 5.6 on the clock.
The Mocs immediately in-bounded the ball and Greg Pryor darted to the basket getting fouled as he crossed the free throw line. With 0.4 on the clock, Pryor's first free throw was a tad long. The intentional miss on the second led to a foul call on the rebound on the Mocs. Furman hit two free tosses with 0.3 to go for the final margin.
Johnathan Burroughs-Cook led all scorers with 16. Tuoyo had 13 points and a game-high seven rebounds, while McLean netted 12. Sibley had 13 points and six rebounds for the Paladins. Davis added 12 points, as Fowler chipped in 10.
It was a quick start for UTC scoring the nine of the first 11 points. Furman turned the tide and had a four-point lead, 29-25, with 4:04 until intermission on a Davis layup. Two Rodney Chatman free throws got the Mocs started on a 14-4 spurt that ended with a Burroughs-Cook buzzer-beating triple.
Chattanooga – 17-7, 8-4 in the SoCon. Furman – 17-8, 10-2 in league play.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Mocs out-scored Furman 23-6 over the first 3:29 and final 3:50 of the first half. The middle 12-plus minutes was a 27-16 advantage for the home team. Click the stats link above for a complete look at today's statistics.
"Defensively, we played good enough to win the game, but we came in with three keys. Guarding the three, out-rebounding them and not turning the ball over. We really didn't do any of those." – Coach Matt McCall. For more thoughts from coach and student-athletes, click the quotes link above.
There were seven ties and 13 lead changes in the contest. For further breakdown on stats and facts from today's game, click notes link above.
at ETSU 90, The Citadel 69
Mercer 81, at VMI 51
at Wofford 131, Samford 127 (4OT)
Saturday, Feb. 11 at Wofford. Tipoff is at 7 p.m., airing on the WatchESPN app (ESPN3) as well as locally on the airwaves on Real 96.1 FM in Chattanooga. Links to live stats, video and audio (Mocs Sports Network) are on GoMocs.com's men's basketball schedule page.