CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC Athletics) — The Chattanooga Mocs dropped a disappointing 77-59 loss to Wofford in McKenzie Arena Saturday afternoon. It was the exact opposite of Wednesday’s come-from-behind win over Mercer.
The Mocs led by as many as 14 late in the first half and carried a 35-22 advantage into the break. That held up nearly to the midpoint of the deciding 20 when Malachi Smith’s drive made it a 46-38 lead at 12:17.
Wofford answered with a 10-0 spurt to take its first lead since early in the contest, 48-46, on Storm Murphy’s triple on a possession extended on the offensive glass. Josh Ayeni hit two free throws before David Jean-Baptiste went coast-to-coast reclaiming the lead with 7:49 on the clock.
It was 52-all with 6:24 to go after two Smith free throws. The Terriers closed it out with a 25-7 scoring 16 of their last 20 at the free throw line. Coach Lamont Paris didn’t mince words.
“I think it was passive, but then you realize that you were just passive and think that you have to do something because you should have already. Then the defense has adjusted, and you put your head down and the little window you had is clogged up. Now you’re driving into a place where the help is there.
“I thought we were careless in that area. There were times where it was a delayed reaction instead of an instantaneous reaction to what’s in front of you and I think that hurt us.”
Smith led the Mocs with 15 points and seven rebounds. Darius Banks added 11 points and seven boards as well with 13 points from Jean-Baptiste and another 11 from Ayeni. Murphy paced Wofford with 23 as Morgan Safford added 19.
The Mocs head to Birmingham Wednesday to square off with Samford. The 8 p.m., Eastern time, matchup broadcasts on ESPN+ and over the airwaves in Chattanooga via WFLI 97.7 FM and 1070 AM. Links for video, audio and live stats for each contest is located on the men’s basketball schedule page.
Chattanooga 11-3/2-4 | Wofford 8-4/5-1
“I’m uninspired by that effort in the second half. And I think that we didn’t play that great in the first half, but as far as stuff around the basket, we had a lot of stuff around the basket that we didn’t finish.” – Paris opening statement
“I feel like we competed really well in the first half, but in the second half, they took our punch and brought it back. We didn’t compete. It wasn’t skill or talent. They out-rebounded us by 21 in the second half, that’s just competing and playing harder.” – Malachi Smith
Check out all we heard at the link above.
3 NOTES TO KNOW
– David Jean-Baptiste continued his climb up the record books. His 13 points moved him into the program’s to 20 in scoring with 1,130 passing Eric Smith ’81 (1,122). He’s now fifth in 3pt made (169) breaking a tie with Omar Wattad ’12 (168). Tim Parker ’03 is fourth with 174.
– The last time the Mocs lost leading by 10 or more at the break was Dec. 3, 2019 at Western Carolina where a 39-29 advantage became an 87-77 loss.
– Jean-Baptiste saw his streak of 20 consecutive free throws end on an and-one attempt in the second half. It was the third of 15 or longer by a Moc this season with the other two – 19 and 15 – belonging to Stefan Kenić.
Check out all the notables at the link above.
3 STATS TO KNOW
– The Mocs scored 33 points in the game’s 17:27, at 75.64-point pace. They totaled 26 over the final 22:33 which extrapolates to 46.12 points over 40 minutes.
– +10 (21/11) in rebounding in the first 20 minutes, -21 (31/10) in the second. The Terriers scored 15 second chance points after intermission on 14 offensive boards.
– -3 in turnover margin (13/10) but -8 in points off turnovers (8-16).