ASHEVILLE, N.C. (UTC Athletics) — It’s a bitter pill to swallow. The season comes down to key moments in the postseason. It’s the best and worst thing at the same time about college basketball. Tonight crystallized that thought in a 72-70 loss to Wofford in the Ingles Southern Conference Championships presented by General Shale semifinals.
The Terriers got the defensive stop even though the Mocs extended a possession in the final minute. Tied at 70, David Jean-Baptiste got a good look from the left wing. Jonathan Scott grabbed the board and the ball ended up in Matt Ryan’s hands. He drove left but the ball was forced from him and out of bounds as the shot clock expired.
“I think Dave [David Jean-Baptiste] had a good look on the wing, and we got the offensive rebound,” Ryan shared in the postgame press conference. “I think we stalled a little bit because the shot clock goes to 20 and not 30, so we wasted a little bit of time and had to force something.
“I wish I had that play back so I could get a better shot, but stuff happens. They were playing some really good defense.”
The Terriers called time with 16.9 to go. Storm Murphy proved to be their man in the clutch again. He drove to the free throw, got the slightest of openings and hit the jumper with 3.1 to play. Jean-Baptiste immediately in-bounded the ball to Maurice Commander who took three dribbles and loft a shot from center court that missed just right for the heart-breaking loss.
It was a stirring comeback from 10 down in the second half. A 16-1 run turned a 47-37 hole into a 53-48 advantage on Ryan’s triple at 10:39. The Mocs led or were tied for the final 8:41 before Murphy’s finish. The last score was Ramon Vila’s eighth field goal of the day coming with 2:11 to go.
Vila led all scorers with 19 points and seven rebounds. Ryan chipped in 16 points, while Commander added 13. Murphy was the Terriers leader with 15.
Chattanooga 20-13 | Wofford 19-15
3 NOTES TO KNOW
– Nine 3pt made shooting 39.1 percent…12-0 when making 10 or more, 8-13 when in single digits.
– Ramon Vila averaged 20.5 ppg and 9.5 rpg for the two tournament games.
– Matt Ryan posted the 25th 500-point season in school history. First since Z. Mason (561) in 2014 to top the 500-point mark and just the fourth this century joining Stephen McDowell with 633 in 2009 and Ashley Champion’s 544 in 2004
— Chattanooga Mocs MBB (@GoMocsMBB) March 8, 2020
Check out all the notables at the link above.
3 STATS TO KNOW
– 10 total second chance points in the contest with seven for Wofford and just three for the Mocs.
– Shot 50 percent (26-52) for the game…82 of 154 (53.2%) for the season against the Terriers.
– Ryan was 4-9 from 3pt range…10 games with four or more 3pt made.
Take a deeper dive into the numbers at the link above.