The Chattanooga Mocs saw an early see-saw contest get away from them in a 96-70 loss at ETSU. Donovann Toatley led the visitors with 19 points which was matched by Bucs wing Tray Boyd.

ETSU made 13 of their first 17 shots, but the Mocs hung tough. Thomas Smallwood’s pick-and-pop three-pointer gave his squad a one-point advantage, 14-13. Boyd and David Jean-Baptiste traded baskets to keep the Gig City lads up 16-15 with 13:22 left in the first half.

A 16-0 run got ETSU back in front, 31-16 before Kevin Easley’s 3pt stopped the spurt. Ramon Vila grabbed two offensive rebounds in the sequence as Easley bucket stopped an 0-5 skid. The Mocs battled back to cut it to eight, 41-33, on Smallwood’s layup at 3:23. The Bucs closed the half on an 11-1 run to take a 52-34 advantage into the break.

“That’s something we’ve got to learn,” Coach Lamont Paris. “Eight points in the basketball world is nothing at that point. But we didn’t finish the half the right way and had a much higher hill to climb.”

It was an 18-point game before the mid-way point in the second half after buckets from Toatley and Jerry Johnson, Jr., gave the visitors hope. The Bucs 15-2 spurt from there put it out of reach. It was capped by a Tray Boyd and-1 with 9:31 remaining.

Easley and Vila joined Toatley in double figures with 15 and 12, respectively. Vila added a team-high six rebounds along two blocks and two steals. Bo Hodges registered 15 for the Bucs, while Daivien Williams added 11 and Lucas N’Guessan 10.

ETSU’s team shooting percentages were second only to Ole Miss from the field and also the 3pt arc this year. It turned in 61.0 percent (36-59) overall and 50.0 percent (9-18) from long range.

Chattanooga returns to the friendly confines of the Roundhouse for three in a two at home. It starts with a Saturday, Jan. 12, visit from Samford. That’s followed by Mercer (Jan. 17) and The Citadel (Jan. 19). Tickets are available on GoMocs.com or by calling (423) 266-MOCS (6627).