Mocs storm past Samford in brutal 105-67 win

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC Athletics) — Several Chattanooga Mocs turned in career performances in today’s 105-67 triumph over Samford. There’s Ramon Vila’s 24 points, David Jean-Baptiste’s eight assists, Matt Ryan’s six assists and Stefan Kenić’s five 3pt made. Altogether, it led to a runaway win in McKenzie Arena.

The 38-point margin of victory is the highest in a SoCon game for Chattanooga since the 125-85 dispatching of The Citadel on Feb. 1, 2016. It was the worst loss for the Bulldogs in league play since an 81-43 loss at Wofford on Jan. 22, 2011.

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“It might sound crazy, but it was because of the way we defended,” Coach Lamont Paris summed up the day. “Our defense got us 105 points. I mean that, and I said that to the guys in the locker room. The job we did on their ball screen situations and especially on Josh Starkey.

“He’s a really good player and we did such a good job there.”

Vila’s 24 came in a sterling 10-16 shooting performance. Ryan added 20 points and seven rebounds, while Jean-Baptiste chipped in 19. Kenić tallied 17 making all five of his 3pt attempts in a 6-8 night from the field. Josh Sharkey led the Bulldogs with 21 points and five steals, the most by an opponent this season.

It started early with the Mocs building their advantage to as many 23, 36-13, on a Ryan triple at 6:37. Samford closed the half with a 17-5 spurt to go into intermission at a manageable 11-point deficit (41-30).

Chattanooga scored on eight of the first nine second-half possessions increasing the lead to 23 on two Vila free throws. He scored 14 of 24 leading the second surge that engulfed the visitors. It never drifted south of 20 the rest of the way.

The 30-point plateau was topped on Ryan’s fifth three-pointer making it 92-60 with 4:20 remaining. He hit his sixth of the seven attempts on the next trip, Kenić followed with a layup and three of his own to get to the 100-point mark at 2:22. The largest lead of 40 came on Trey Doomes layup with 31 seconds to go, the final points of the night for the home team.

“We made a couple shots, don’t get me wrong,” Paris continued. “The lead extended and they felt like they had to be extra aggressive. If you don’t turn it over, on the other side of the defensive pressure are usually high percentage shots. We were able to get some of those. With our ball screen coverage, the plan that we had today, the execution was pristine.

“And I never really say that too much. Maybe pretty good, but it was pristine in what we were trying to do, and what we did do.”

The 3-game homestand wraps up with Wofford (Jan. 15) on Wednesday. Tickets are available on GoMocs.com as well as calling the McKenzie Arena box office during working hours at (423) 266-MOCS (6627).

RECORDS
Chattanooga 11-6/2-2 | Samford 8-10/2-2

QUOTABLE
“He’s been playing well. He had a couple games early on that he played well in and then he had a little lull there where he wasn’t playing as aggressively as he had been. I have a tremendous amount of faith in him. I think if you can get the ball around the basket, it creates a lot of havoc for other teams and their decisions they have to make. He has shown that he can produce on a one-on-one situation at a high percentage. He’s one of the most unselfish guys I’ve ever been around in my entire career. It was a plan to get him the ball today. He’s a great player and an unbelievable teammate.” – Coach Paris on Ramon Vila

“I think it’s important to be able to bounce back from a loss. We’ve got a big week moving ahead with Wofford and UNCG. The same way we put Furman behind us, we have to put this game behind us. Right now, it feels good for everybody, we just won by 40 and put up 100, but we also lost three days ago. You’ve got to be able to put games behind you quickly, and I think we did that after the Furman loss. We got a big win today, but Wofford doesn’t care. They want to beat us just as much as we want to beat them, so we’ve just got to focus on them next.” – Ryan on his mindset after a big win today

Check out all we heard at the link above.

3 NOTES TO KNOW
– 40 field goals made today are the most in the Roundhouse against a DI opponent. It’s the most against DI competition since 40 at Georgia Southern on Feb. 24, 2003 tying for the second-most FG made in a league contest.
– 105 points tied for the eighth-highest total against a DI opponent and ties for fifth in a conference matchup.
– Tied for the 3rd-largest margin of victory in the 100 meetings with Samford. Also won by 38 in 1926-27 (70-32) and 1958-59 (112-74). Biggest win was 47 (103-56) in 1964-65. The largest gap in the DI era was an 88-46 triumph in Maclellan Gym on Dec. 18, 1981.
Check out all the notables at the link above.

3 STATS TO KNOW
– 54.6 shooting percentage over last 2 games: 54.2% (26-48) vs Furman, 54.8% (40-73) today.
– Season-high 3.11 assist-to-turnover ratio dishing out 28 against 9 miscues. That’s the most in a DI affair since the Nov. 27, 2015 win over Alabama State. Ties for second-most against a league opponent behind 30 against Western Carolina on Jan. 24, 2004 and matching efforts against The Citadel (Dec. 1, 2007) and Western on March 2 in the 2000 SoCon Tourney.
– 17 3pt made ties the school record. It’s the fourth time in the Mocs history and first since last year at Georgia State. It’s the third-time in the Lamont Paris era also sinking 17 at The Citadel on Jan. 13, 2018.
Take a deeper dive into the numbers at the link above.

SOCON SCOREBOARD
VMI at ETSU, 4 p.m. | Live Stats
Mercer at Western Carolina, 5 p.m. | Live Stats
UNCG at Furman, 7 p.m. | Live Stats
The Citadel at Wofford, 7 p.m. | Live Stats

MBB UPCOMING GAMES
Jan. 15: Wofford | Current Rec.: *10-6/2-1 | Next Opp: at Chattanooga (Jan. 15)
Jan. 18: at UNC Greensboro | Current Rec.: *12-5/2-2 | Next Opp: at The Citadel (Jan. 15)
Jan. 22: The Citadel | Current Rec.: *6-8/0-3 | Next Opp: UNCG (Jan. 15)
*Record entering play Saturday, Jan. 11

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Angela joined the News 12 team in November of 2017 as the weekend sports anchor and reporter. Angela is a proud member of an Army family, which means she has hometowns all over the Eastern Seaboard. Most recently, she calls Peachtree City, Georgia, home, where she graduated from Trinity Christian School and spent her free time driving her purple golf cart. She then headed to Milledgeville, Georgia, to attend Georgia College and State University. A proud Bobcat, Angela graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Mass Communication and represented her December 2016 class as one of three valedictorians. Angela comes to the Scenic City from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where she worked at the NBC affiliate, WMBF News. Before the big move, she worked as Georgia College's Sports Information Assistant, which let her get paid to be the Bobcats' biggest fan. It all started in Savannah, Georgia, though, where she interned for SAV's number one station, WTOC. When she's not working, you can find Angela watching the New York Giants, Rangers or basically any other game that's on. She also loves traveling, hiking and exploring new places, all with her camera in hand. If you have any story ideas, big or small, feel free to reach out to her on Facebook and Twitter, or email her at amoryan@wdef.com."