Basketball Mocs pull away in second half in 86-54 exhibition win over Covenant
The Chattanooga Mocs ran away with an 86-54 win over local foe Covenant in exhibition action in McKenzie Arena Saturday afternoon. Five Mocs reached double digits in the win led by David Jean-Baptiste’s 19.
The junior combo guard added six assists with nary a turnover. He was joined in double figures by Ramon Vila with 13, Jonathan Scott with 12, Rod Johnson’s 11 and Trey Doomes off the bench scoring 10.
"I think we got to see where we stand and the foundation of our team," Jean-Baptiste shared. "We got to see how we responded to adversity after a tough first half, and it's good to see that this team has some fight in us this early.
"At first, you have to get a feel of the game and a new season after playing each other for so long (in practice). It felt a little different at first, but once we started playing, we got settled down and it was fun to play against somebody else."
Chattanooga opened the second half on a 13-0 run capped by Prosper Obidiebube’s dunk off a nice feed from Doomes for a 47-31 lead with 14:21 to go. Back-ot-back layups by Jean-Baptiste and Doomes extended it to 18, 51-33, just over a minute later.
Doomes made it a 20-point affair with another layup with 11:42 remaining. It topped the 30-point mark on A.J. Caldwell’s triple with 2:32 to go, 79-48. Scott’s three late in the contest built the margin to its apex, 86-52, before late free throws from Quentin Steele for the Scots provided the final margin of 86-54.
Johnson saw his first action since March 2018 in junior college and didn’t disappoint with 11 points, nine rebounds, four assists and a steal in 19 minutes. He missed the 2018-19 with a lower body injury, and although he got a few games in the Bahamas, this was his first game in the Roundhouse.
"It feels great to be back on the floor after being out for however long it's been,” Johnson smiled. “To have a decent game in the first game back was big for me. It gave me more confidence and momentum swing to keep going, keep pushing, keep improving. It was big for me.
“I have a lot to work on. To knock off a little rust and get back in a game situation against a different team and not my teammates every day, it shows me what I need to work on. "
It was a close one early. Covenant led by as many as five and as late as 5:09 in the first half as James Mitchell’s three provided a 24-22 advantage. The defense locked in from there.
The Scots got off to a good start making 50 percent (6-12) of their early efforts in getting the five-point lead, 17-12. From there, the defense allowed just 35.9 percent (14-39) while the offense keep getting scores.
Turnovers, 13 in all, was the only thing holding the Mocs down. The group shot 69.2 percent, 36-52, for the contest. They scored on 23 of 33 second-half possessions with six of the 10 empty trips due to turnovers so they scored on 85.2 percent (23/27) of their full possessions.
The regular season starts in 10 days. Chattanooga opens with a Nov. 5 trip to Eastern Kentucky before returning home for a Nov. 9 home date with Tennessee State. Tickets, season and single game, can be purchased at the link above.