GREENSBORO, N.C. (UTC Athletics) — The Chattanooga Mocs went cold in the second half losing 60-55 to UNC Greensboro in the Greensboro Coliseum. It came down to the shooting outage and opportunistic offensive rebounding by the Spartans.
The Mocs came out quick and took a 32-24 lead into intermission. Mohammed Abdulsalam capped a 12-2 run over 9:15 of clock time to give the Spartans a 45-40 advantage. It was during a 12:47 span where the Mocs made just one shot, a KC Hankton tip-in.
Malachi Smith broke the skid with a three at 6:52. David Jean-Baptiste got the lead back, 48-47 with a three of his own at 5:41.
— Chattanooga Mocs MBB (@GoMocsMBB) February 20, 2021
It was short lived. Kaleb Hunter’s layup with 1:01 to go made it a six-point deficit, 58-52. A.J. Caldwell had the answer with a three from in front of his bench. The Mocs played tough defense and forced a missed shot, but UNCG collected the offensive board with the rebound tipped out of bounds by Smith.
The inbounds came to Hunter who took a short jumper. It came, but Isaiah Miller claimed the rebound and putback to provide the final, 60-55.
“We wanted to win badly,” Coach Lamont Paris began in his postgame press conference. “It just came down to … when you have a lead it dissipates for a couple of reasons. Extra possessions by way of turnover, extra possessions by way of offensive rebounds, or a team gets really hot. They got 12 second-chance points in the second half, 15 for the game.
“That is one that is hard to swallow … that number. That number is too high.”
The Mocs play their road finale Wednesday at Mercer. It airs on ESPN+ or 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 18-6/9-6 | UNCG 16-7/11-4
Tickets for the regular season finale on Saturday, Feb. 27, against VMI are available and can be purchased here or by calling (423) 266-MOCS (6627). Limited supply with 1,000 capacity in the Roundhouse. Student tickets are free (as always) but reservation is required here. All tickets are general admission this season with social distancing required between seat blocks.
The game is a BLUE OUT both in the arena and virtually. Join the virtual here or wear blue to the game if you’re one of the lucky 1,000 in the arena.
“Frustrating loss. I thought we played hard. I don’t think we played particularly well, offensively, but I thought we played hard.” – Coach Lamont Paris
“It’s always the worst thing in basketball. You play good defense for 28, 29 seconds, think you have a stop and give up an offensive rebound. That means maybe another 20 seconds or an easy shot from the perimeter as everybody collapses to the basket.” – KC Hankton on the second chance opportunities for UNCG
“I think we fell in love with the three too much. We didn’t get to the rim, to the free throw line enough.” – Darius Banks on 2nd half offensive struggles
Check out all we heard at the link above.
3 NOTES TO KNOW
– Snaps 6-game win streak. This was the second streak of six or more after starting 9-0. Last time the Mocs had two spurts of six wins or more in a season? 2015-16 with eight and 9-game runs back-to-back winning 17 of 18 games.
– 14-5 in single-digit margin games, 8-0 when decided by three or less. UNCG is 8-3 with the score within nine, 1-1 decided by three or less.
– 14-1 this season & 29-5 over last two when holding opponents below 70 points. 6-1 holding the Spartans to less than 70 over the last 24 meetings, 4-13 when they top it.
Check out all the notables at the link above.
3 STATS TO KNOW
– Stefan Kenić’s 3pt streak ended at seven when he missed his first effort of the evening. It was his second career run of seven or more. He hit eight in a row against Furman (3-3) and Samford (5-5) last year between misses. The school record of 10 is held by Brandon Born ’95 over three games from Dec. 1993-Jan. 1994. Born had an amazing 6-game run shooting 77.8 percent (21-27) beyond the arc in games at Purdue, Alabama State, South Alabama, Southern Miss, at Furman and Marshall.
– 12 of UNCG’s 15 second chance points came in the second half.
– Chattanooga his eight of first 13 threes (61.5%), three of 18 (16.7%) the rest of the way.
Take a deeper dive into the numbers at the link above.
Record: 26-24 (10-13 away)
SoCon Regular Season: 21-21 (9-13 away)
at The Citadel 75, VMI 74
Wofford 80, at Western Carolina 56
Furman 70, at Mercer 60
NEXT 3 OPPONENTS
Feb. 24: at Mercer, 7 p.m. | Current Record: 13-9/6-8 | Next Opp: Chattanooga (Feb. 24)
Feb. 27: VMI, 7 p.m. | Current Record: 12-11/7-7 | Next Opp.: ETSU (Feb. 24)
Regular Season Over