SPARTANBURG, S.C. (UTC Athletics) — It didn’t seem like there was a lot of defense played Saturday night in Richardson Indoor Stadium. The Chattanooga Mocs claimed an 84-77 Southern Conference win over host Wofford in a game with just 39 missed shots.
“The value of getting a stop was at an all-time high just because both teams were playing so well,” Coach Lamont Paris shared afterwards. “It was a little crazy that way. We were able to get a stop here and there when we needed to, and combined, we made some shots when we needed to, and so did they. It was tit-for-tat at times.
“Guys stepped up. It was great to see guys make free throws down the stretch and make some big-time confidence plays for at least two or three guys on the team. That was really good.”
The Mocs were down five, 61-56, with 9:32 to play. They battled back to take the lead on Rod Johnson’s three-point play at 5:17. Storm Murphy immediately answered for Wofford but an aggressive Maurice Commander got to the line putting his squad up for good with two free throws with 4;10 on the clock.
Chattanooga got the stop they needed. It also got timely board work on the other end. Johnson missed, but Commander got the offensive board. He then nailed a three to give the Mocs breathing room up 70-66. Nathan Hoover’s three made it a one-point game, but the Mocs went on an 8-1 spurt to jump ahead 78-70 on two Commander free throws.
Commander and Matt Ryan combined to hit eight straight free throws down the stretch to quell any Terrier uprising. Ryan led a quartet of Mocs in double figures with 25 followed closely by Commander’s 22. Johnson had 18 with six rebounds, while Ramon Vila added 10.
Hoover led all scorers with 31. Storm Murphy chipped in 15 with 12 more coming from Chevez Goodwin. The win secured a sweep in the regular season series for Chattanooga.
The Mocs are back in the Roundhouse Wednesday night. VMI visits at 7 p.m., before returning to the road for games at Furman (Feb. 15) and The Citadel (Feb. 19). Tickets are available on GoMocs.com or consider the new “All You Can Eat” option.
Chattanooga 15-10/6-6 | Wofford 16-9/8-4
“One of the big plays Maurice [Commander] made, seemed pretty simple, he came off a ball screen and two guys stayed with him and he drug it out really long and was able to get the ball to Ramon [Vila] at the rim and he got fouled. I thought that was good just to get that guy back involved because he had been saddled with some foul trouble in the first half. I think we play much better when Ramon is active and involved and he’s doing a lot of different things. Maurice, I can’t say enough for what he did tonight not only as a scorer, but as a rim attacker. He just attacked and created some things.” – Coach Lamont Paris
“Just guys stepping up. Guys stepping up. We had a long talk after losing to ETSU and losing two games in-a-row. Maurice [Commander] was vocal, Rod [Johnson] was vocal, I was vocal, coach [Paris] was vocal. It was crazy that those two guys stepped up big time today after a couple of really good practices the last couple days.” – Grad student Matt Ryan
Check out all we heard at the link above.
3 NOTES TO KNOW
– Just the 43rd meeting with the Terriers. It’s the shortest running series among current SoCon membership behind UNCG (46) and VMI (58). Tonight’s win improved the series lead to 25-18. Wofford is the 15th opponent to lose 25 or more games against the Mocs.
– Sixth regular season series sweep since Wofford joined the SoCon in 1997-98. The Mocs also swept today’s host in a non-conference home-and-home in 1996-97.
– Southern Conference home teams are 5-8 in the month of February so far and 0-4 today.
Check out all the notables at the link above.
3 STATS TO KNOW
– The two teams combined to shoot 58.9 percent (56-95) from the field. The Mocs were on fire making 27 of 45 (60.0%), while the Terriers were not far behind at 58 percent (29-50).
– 90.5 percent free throw shooting in the second half for Chattanooga making 19 of 21 including their final eight in the last 35 seconds – Commander 4-4 & Ryan 4-4.
– Seven turnovers in the first 13 minutes, six the rest of the way. Wofford built an early lead based on a 12-2 advantage in points off those seven turnovers. Ended up 19-13 for the game with the Mocs going 11-7 the final 27 minutes.
Take a deeper dive into the numbers at the link above.
VMI 75, at The Citadel 64
Furman 82, at Western Carolina 73
ETSU 73, at Mercer 60
MBB UPCOMING GAMES
Feb. 12: VMI, 7 p.m. | Current Rec.: 7-18/2-10 | Next Opp: Chattanooga (Feb. 12)
Feb. 15: at Furman, 4 p.m. | Current Rec.: 20-5/10-2 | Next Opp: at Samford (Feb. 12)
Feb. 19: at The Citadel, 7 p.m. | Current Rec.: 6-17/0-12 | Next Opp: at ETSU (Feb. 12)