Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) The Chattanooga-ETSU rivalry reached a peak this year. The Mocs won both games on last-second shots — breaking the Bucs ten game winning streak against Chattanooga. The two square off for a third time Saturday in the SoCon Tournament.
Said Mocs head coach Lamont Paris: “Whoever loses is going to go home for the rest of the year, and I don’t think there’s a better motivator than that.”
Do or die. Nothing new for the Chattanooga-ETSU game this year. The Mocs beat the Bucs twice — but only by two points a piece — two last second points.
Said Paris: “A great way for us both teams to kick off the tournament is playing against each other, particularly in the drama that’s happened in both these other two games. So it definitely adds something to it.”
Said Mocs guard Davie Jean-Baptiste: “Oh man, it’s definitely going to be a fun one, coming from those two games very close to the end, both games last second shots. So it will definitely be another close one. Expect another close one. It’s going to be fun to see coming down to the wire how the game plays out.”
If the first two games taught these teams anything — it’s the value of a single possession.
Said Baptiste: “How delicate each possession is and how important each play is. You can’t take one possession off because if you do it may cost those two points.”
Said ETSU head coach Jason Shay: “It’s going to be a good ball game again. It’s just trying to find those three-four extra possessions that can get us on top.”
Said ETSU forward Silas Adheke: “We should’ve won both games. The first game when they came to Freedom Hall, we didn’t start well. We played awful and we still lost on the buzzer. So we haven’t played our best game yet against them. … We definitely know we’re capable of beating them, but they’ve got the best of us. Hopefully the third time’s the charm.”
The question is, can the Mocs get the best of the Bucs three times in one month?
Said Paris: “At the front of it, it’s hard to beat a team three times, but it’s hard to flip a coin and get it to be heads ten times in a row also. But after you’ve done nine, all you have to do is do one. So we’ve already beat them twice, so really it just comes down to one game.”
Added Baptiste: “We know it’s going to be a close one. We know it’s going to come down to the wire so it’s going to be down to each possession so each possession, we got to make it count.”
The Mocs and Bucs tip at 2:30pm in Asheville.