Mocs can't build off hot start as they lose first SoCon road game
Sophomore Ramon Vila scored a career-high 18 points in the Chattanooga Mocs 85-72 defeat against UNCG in the Greensboro Coliseum. The Mocs led the majority of the first half before succumbing to a strong Spartans run in the Southern Conference matchup.
Vila was joined in double digits by David Jean-Baptiste, Donovann Toatley and Kevin Easley. Jean-Baptiste totaled 16, one more than Toatley’s 15. Easley added 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Isaiah Miller keyed the Spartans with 21 points, five rebounds and six steals. Eric Hamilton chipped in 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Kyrin Galloway posted 14, 12 in the second half.
Chattanooga led by as many as nine in the opening 20 minutes. Vila’s free throw with 6:00 set the score at 25-16. The Mocs went without a made field goal over a five-minute spurt as the host flipped the script.
The visitors went 3-6 from the free throw line and turned the ball over four times in that stretch. Miller’s layup with 2:42 to go in the half gave the Spartans the lead for good, 29-28. They took a five-point advantage, 37-32, into intermission.
"For the first part of the game we played better,” Vila shared. “Then they just killed us on the offensive boards and with their pressure. They started to gain more confidence, shots were falling, we were missing free throws and then they took control of the game."
UNCG scored on seven of the first 10 second-half possessions. The onslaught continued as Miller’s layup off a Mocs turnover extended the lead to 21, 72-51. Chattanooga continued to battle cutting the lead to 12, 68-56, on a Toatley and-1, but it could not piece together enough stops in the second frame to get closer.
Chattanooga stays on the road next weekend in SoCon play. The squad spends the weekend at Western Carolina (Jan. 3) and ETSU (Jan. 5) before returning to the Roundhouse on Saturday, Jan. 12 with a visit from Samford. Tickets are available on GoMocs.com or by calling (423) 266-MOCS (6627).