CHATTANOOGA (gomocs.com) ---The Chattanooga Mocs had a strong effort on the offensive end tonight in an 85-82 win over The Citadel. But it was a defensive stop late that clinched the Southern Conference victory.
Rodney Chatman scored with 16.3 seconds to play to push the margin to three, 85-82. It came on a strong drive to the basket as Chatman surveyed the defense, looped right and then exploded to the hoop with the kiss off the glass.
The Citadel brought the ball into the frontcourt and called timeout with 8.5 to go. Matt Frierson came off a screen but Makale Foreman made a strong challenge to the shot that clanged off into the hands of his teammate Frankie Johnson. Johnson sprinted to the corner distributed to Frierson whose could not get a clean look due to the heads up defense of David Jean-Baptiste.
Foreman led all scorers with 22 points tying his career high of six 3pt made. Chatman added 14 points, six rebounds, three blocks and eight assists, while the post duo of Makinde London (16) and Joshua Phillips(14) combined for 30.
A quartet of Bulldogs reached double digits paced by Alex Reed's 20. Zane Najdawi chipped in 14, while Kaelon Harris and Quayson Williams had 12 and 10, respectively. Johnson dished out 11 assists.
The Mocs led by as many as 13, 56-43, early in the second half on London's slam on a drive from the left side through traffic. It was 11, 77-66, as late as 5:47 after a Chatman layup. Three minutes later, Reed's triple from in front of his bench cut it to one, 79-78.
Foreman answered the 12-1 spurt with a nice move (pictured above) just inside two minutes to play. He shot-faked from three, drove to the elbow, jump-stopped and drilled the 14 footer to quiet the nerves. A defensive stop and two Chatman free throws got it back to five, 83-78.
Harris came back with two free throws sending the game into its final minute. A missed three sent it the other way. Frierson took a deep three that Harris collected in the paint. He battled through traffic for the put-back and a one-point Mocs lead, 83-82, with 43.2 remaining.
The Mocs called timeout setting up Chatman's final basket and the defensive heroics.
"[Rodney] gets the call on the last offensive play for us and he performs," Coach Lamont Paris shared. "That shot was probably slightly more difficult than the one he had in the VMI game. He had a better look at the rim [vs. VMI]. I think he even shot with his left hand on this one.
"That's growth. He was able to do that. It's good for his confidence. It was nice for the guys to win a close game.
ON THE RECORD
Chattanooga: 9-17, 3-10 in the SoCon – The Citadel: 9-15/4-8
SoCon Regular Season: 59-15
Last 10: 8-2
3 NOTES TO KNOW
View complete notes package from tonight at the notes link above. Three to know…
Second 20-point contest of the year for Makale Foreman. Both came against The Citadel scoring 52 in the two games shooting 70.4 percent (19-27) from the field including 60.0 percent (12-20) from 3pt range.
The Mocs played with just six scholarship players in their seven-man rotation tonight. The outlier was Joshua Phillips who joined the team at Thanksgiving after completing his football career.
The Bulldogs duo of Zane Najdawi (37) and Matt Frierson (31) scored 68 points in the first meeting in Charleston, a 110-101 OT win for them. Tonight, they managed just 23 with 14 for Najdawi and nine for Frierson.
Access thoughts on tonight's game at the quotes link above.
"Makale works really hard on the defensive end. I mean to go around and chase [Frierson], to work like that and then to try and come down on the offensive end to produce, that's not easy to do. Obviously, he's confident player. He's a real good shooter. He got some good looks today. Guys found him and shared the ball. He made shots. That always helps your cause." – Paris on Makale Foreman's night.
Check out the full box score at the link above. Here are three notable numbers…
Season-best 56.9 percent shooting for the Mocs. Made 29-51 including 18-for-26 (69.2%) inside the arc.
Limited The Citadel to 26.5 percent (9-34) from long range. It's just the sixth time this season they made less than 10 triples. Entered tonight ranked third nationally in 3pt made per game (11.8).
Nine of the 14 turnovers for the home team came in the second half.
(Wed.) UNCG 80, at Furman 67
(Wed.) at Wofford 92, Samford 79
Western Carolina 72, at VMI 60
Chattanooga is back in McKenzie Arena Saturday hosting Mercer. It's the second half of a doubleheader. The 5 p.m., tipoff follows the Mocs women vs. ETSU at 2.
For the complete schedule, go here on GoMocs.com.