BIRMINGHAM (GoMocs.com) --- The Chattanooga Mocs lost 72-68 in overtime falling short in a comeback bid on the road at Samford in Southern Conference play. The trio of Justin Tuoyo, Tre’ McLean and Rodney Chatman combined for 51 of the Mocs 68 points.
Samford led by as many as 10 in the first half scoring 42 points over the opening 20 minutes for an eight-point halftime advantage (42-34). The Mocs cut it to one early in the second half only to see the Bulldogs extend it to eight, 57-49, with 9:37 to go on a Christen Cunningham basket.
Chatman answered with a layup followed by a McLean triple at 8:20. He tied the game with another 3pt at 6:02 as the Mocs were in the midst of holding their hosts without a basket for nine-plus minutes.
Four free throws got the Bulldogs back ahead, 61-57. Tuoyo scored on a strong post move with 3:51 left and tied the score at 61-all with just over a minute remaining. Chatman gave the Mocs their first lead since 10:47 in the first half by calmly sinking two free throws with 45.3 seconds on the clock.
Wyatt Walker tied it again with 19.1 ticks left. Chatman brought the ball into the frontcourt. As the clock wound down, he drove the lane and at the last second tried to dish to Tuoyo. Eric Adams made the steal to send the game into overtime.
Both teams found tough sledding until Tuoyo fouled out with just under two minutes to play with the Mocs down one, 65-64. It was still a three-point affair, 71-68, with 11.1 to go. As McLean crossed halfcourt, he felt the defense closing in to foul and not allow a 3pt attempt. He rose for a shot that was errant and rebounded by Walker whose free throw with 5.8 remaining closed the scoring.
Tuoyo ended up with 20 points and eight rebounds. McLean added 19 points, while Chatman chipped in 12. Walker led the Bulldogs with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Demetrius Denzel-Dyson (13), Josh Sharkey (12) and Cunningham (11) also reached double figures.
The Mocs close out the home schedule Saturday with a visit from Mercer. General admission seating is just $5 with kids who come to the game in their youth jersey admitted free with a paying adult. Call (423) 266-MOCS (6627) or click the link above.
Chattanooga – 19-9, 10-6 in the SoCon. Samford – 17-12, 8-8 in league play.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Mocs allowed Samford to shoot 69.2 percent in the first half making 18 of 26 shots. Click the stats link above for a complete look at today’s statistics.
"Rodney [Chatman] did a great job. He played awesome tonight and kept us in the game. He kept us calm and did an unbelievable job. We know what he's capable of." – Senior Tre’ McLean. For more thoughts from coach and student-athletes, click the quotes link above.
It was 775 days between missed games for Greg Pryor. His last missed game on Jan. 10, 2015 at ETSU...that was the OT win provided by Casey Jones’ deep 3 from the top of the key. For further breakdown on stats and facts from today’s game, click notes link above.
UNCG 72, at Mercer 66
Wofford 81, at VMI 63
at ETSU 93, Furman 81
Western Carolina 84, at The Citadel 80
Saturday, Feb. 25 vs. Mercer. It’s a doubleheader with the women starting at 2 p.m., and the men at 5 p.m. Both games air 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.