ASHEVILLE—The Chattanooga Mocs and ETSU Bucs played another classic tournament contest. The two schools have met 16 times in the Ingles Southern Conference Championship presented by General Shale. Chattanooga came close but fell short of the semifinals in a 68-64 loss.
“I thought the guys competed really hard today, and really well,” Coach Lamont Paris shared. “That gave us a great chance to be in position to get done what we came here for. I was really happy about the way they competed above all else.”
David Jean-Baptiste led the Mocs with 17 points including four from three-point range. Ramon Vila added 16, while Kevin Easley paced the effort on the boards with 12. Tray Boyd came off the bench to lead all scorers with 21 for the Bucs. Jeromy Rodriguez chipped in 10 points and 15 boards.
Boyd’s 3pt with 12:11 left in the game put the Bucs up nine, 53-44, and looking to run away with it. The Mocs had other plans. Maurice Commander drilled a three from the corner on a strong Jean-Baptiste drive-and-kick. Next trip down, Jean-Baptiste beat the shot clock with a triple. Seven straight defensive stops and Donovann Toatley’s two free throws and the deficit was a mere point, 53-52 at 8:26.
ETSU went up, Chattanooga came back. Easley’s three at 4:19 and another shot clock topper by Jean-Baptiste got the Mocs within a point in the final minutes. But they could not get over the top.
Paris took pride in the growth the team showed. The way they performed above the growing pains of the season.
“Some of the sacrifices they made as far as shot selection from the weak-side helped,” Paris added. “And some things that our guys at times have struggled with, and remembered to do or have done this season, today they were locked in and focused.
“Above all else I thought that they competed at a really high level and at the end of the day that’s what put us in the situation that we were in.”
Chattanooga 12-20 | ETSU 24-8
3 NOTES TO KNOW
Check out the full complement of notes at the link above.
– David Jean-Baptiste scored his 500th career point tonight…it came in the first half as his jumper at 7:37 gave the Mocs a 20-19 lead…ended the season scoring in double figures in eight straight contests.
– Ramon Vila ended up shooting 62.5 percent (95-152)…first Moc to shoot better than 60 percent from the field while making at least four FG per contest since Justin Tuoyo (64.5%) in 2016-17…Tuoyo’s was the first since Chris Mims (64.8%) in 1996-97.
– The Chattanooga roster entered the game with just 133 minutes experience in conference tournament play…a full game is 200 minutes for a team total.
3 STATS TO KNOW
Check out the full stats at the link above.
– Chattanooga hit 10 threes tonight, shooting 52.6 percent behind the arc…+18 from 3pt range holding ETSU to 4-14 (28.6%).
– The Bucs took advantage of 17 Mocs turnovers…13-5 cushion on points off turnovers.
– -4 rebound margin tonight…Bucs entered the contest leading the nation in rebounding margin at 11.1.
Check out all of what we heard at the quotes link above.
“I hope they can learn from this because it shows growth through struggles and having some failures and amidst those failures, figuring out what you did that you had successes with. That’s all a part of growing. We have a young team. These guys know I don’t make any excuses for that but as a fact we have a relatively young team. So they have to learn.” – Coach Lamont Paris on the learning experience this game brought.
“I give thanks to my teammates for those screens and getting me open in the first place. Those were definitely some tough shots but they had to be made and coach emphasizes making the play in tough times. With the shot clock going down you just have to make a play, so I just did what I did. I thank my coaches for having that confidence in me to take those kind of shots, so I did and the shots happened to go in.” – David Jean-Baptiste on his two 3s beating the shot clock.