Mocs come away with season sweep of Troy with an 84-80 OT win
The Chattanooga Mocs claimed the season series sweep with a dramatic come-from-behind 84-80 win in overtime over Troy. The Mocs won the first meeting in somewhat similar fashion, 74-68, at Trojan Arena on Nov. 12.
This time around they came back from seven down in the second half. It was five, 72-67, at the 2:53 mark after back-to-back threes from Desmond Williams and Ty Gordon answered a basket from Ramon Vila and free throws by Matt Ryan.
If it looked bleak, it didn’t show on the Mocs bench or unit on the floor.
"These guys have shown that they are resilient in a lot of different ways,” Coach Lamont Paris shared afterward. “It seems like we coach one way, then say the next time something happens, we have to play that certain thing better. Then they come down and make another; they hit a big three. We just talked about the things you need to do to win in the last couple minutes of a game.
“Guys just kept coming back, and coming back, and making plays. We finally made some shots when we needed to.”
It was Ryan’s turn. He nailed back-to-back treys book-ending a Gordon free throw to know the game at 73 all with 1:57 to go. Ryan ended up tying his career high of 23 points while also leading the team in rebounds (7), assists (3) and steals (2).
It was lockdown on both ends after that. Troy had the ball under its basket with 4.0 on the clock. The in-bounds pass went to Darian Adams, who tallied 19 points and six assists, but he landed out-of-bounds with 3.6 to play. The Mocs went back to Ryan who split the defense just passed midcourt. His 35-footer just caromed out, but momentum had shifted.
“We had to come back late in the game and right when regulation ended, we came in the huddle and we knew we had all the momentum,” Ryan noted. “We knew that team didn’t want to be in overtime, and that we wanted to be there because of how we played. We saw some shots go in. We were riding that momentum wave into overtime and the guys made some plays for us to win.”
Ryan scored first in the extra period followed by two Ramon Vila scores, the latter an emphatic slam. As the clock drifted inside a minute to go, Williams scored two of his team-high 20 points to cut it to two, 79-77. The Mocs worked the offense. The ball went left to David Jean-Baptiste in front of press row. He skipped it across to A.J. Caldwell for a dramatic three-ball making it an 82-77 game. Jonathan Scott hit two late free throws before Williams ended the scoring with his third triple of the day.
“We have a feeling that we’re a good team,” Ryan added. “Our record (7-5) isn’t the greatest, but we think we’re much better than what that says. By continuing to get better over this break, getting better every day at practice, I think we’re on the right path with where we’re going.”
The Mocs complete the pre-holiday schedule on the road at UNC Asheville next Saturday. They return to the Roundhouse after the break on Sunday, Dec. 29, for a double-header with the women’s team. Donate two canned food items at the gate to replenish the Chattanooga Area Food Bank and get buy one, get one free tickets. The guys host Cumberland before the ladies take on Ohio.