JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (UTC Athletics) — Rodney Chatman scored a career-high 26 points but it wasn’t enough in an 81-61 loss at Southern Conference leader ETSU Saturday afternoon in Freedom Hall. It was Chatman’s fourth 20-point effort of 2017-18.
Desonta Bradford paced the Bucs with 22 of his own with six rebounds. Peter Jurkin added 16 points and 13 rebounds. Joshua Phillips led the visitors with 12 boards tying his career best on the glass.
Chatman’s jumper with 35 seconds left in the first half cut the Bucs early lead to eight, 32-24. A defensive stop coupled with a basket could send the Mocs into the half with momentum.
The stop looked promising as the shot clock wound down inside 10 seconds. Bradford drove the lane and kicked the ball out of the crowded space to Devontavious Payne. The left hit the triple from the corner for a 35-24 halftime advantage.
“If we get the stop there, then maybe you get it to five or six at the other end, take something positive into halftime,” Coach Lamont Paris shared. “We weren’t able to get that stop and down 11 at the break against this team, in that environment, is tough to overcome.”
Chattanooga would get no closer. It matched buckets to start the second frame, but not for long. David Jean-Baptiste’s layup at 18:15 made it a 41-30 contest. ETSU scored 12 of the next 16 points to extend the margin to 19, 53-34, with 13:43 to go on a Bo Hodges layup.
First it was a Nat Dixon jumper then a Jean-Baptiste layup. Chatman’s two free throws at 10:07 got it to with 15 again, 57-42. Less than two minutes later, Jalen McCloud gave his squad their largest lead of 21, 65-44.
“These guys are young and they’ll respond,” Paris added. “We just have to get back to work and finish the season strong. Finish it better than when we started. Some of the things we did today, if we did that in other games, we would have won those games. That’s something you have reproduce every single night. As you get older and better, then you can overcome some of things you don’t do well.
ON THE RECORD
Chattanooga: 8-17, 2-10 in the SoCon – ETSU: 21-4/11-1
SoCon Regular Season: 34-22
Last 10: 5-5
3 NOTES TO KNOW
View complete notes package from tonight at the notes link above. Three to know…
– Chatman had new career highs with 26 points and four steals. David Jean-Baptiste’s three steals were also a personal best.
– Phillips tied his career high with 12 rebounds. His six on the offensive end (and defense too for that matter) was more than all but two had total on the day.
– Chatman was 2-4 from 3pt range, the rest of the squad shot 20 percent (3-15).
Access thoughts on tonight’s game at the quotes link above.
“You have to have confidence in yourself. You have to have the heart to play physical. You need to work around and use the glass a little bit more. I always try to beat the first defender. I just had to work on getting stronger and finish around the basket and that’s something I still need to work on.” – Chatman when asked about his tough takes to the basket this afternoon.
Check out the full box score at the link above. Here are three notable numbers…
– +5 in turnover margin with eight which ties for the season low against a DI opponent (at Mercer).
– Nine steals also tied season best (Charlotte).
– -14 rebound margin (25-39).
at The Citadel 100, Furman 92 (OT)
at Mercer 73, Wofford 65
Samford at Western Carolina, 7:30 p.m.
Chattanooga returns to McKenzie Arena next weekend hosting The Citadel and Mercer. The Bulldogs are up first with a 7 p.m., Thursday night meeting.