KENNESAW, Ga. --- The Chattanooga Mocs (2-4) went on the road for a 65-51 win at Kennesaw State (1-6) Saturday afternoon. UTC used a strong first half offensively and a lockdown defensive second frame for the win.
Z. Mason (Nashville, Tenn.) led four double-digit scorers for the Mocs with 14 points, eight rebounds and a career-high four blocks. Gee McGhee (Baton Rouge, La.) added 12 points for the day. Markeith Cummings had a game-high 16 points for KSU. Aaron Anderson chipped in 10 points and seven boards.
It was a four-point game, 21-17 UTC, with 8:20 left in the first half when the Mocs took control. It out-scored the Owls 17-4 the rest of the way with McGhee’s 16-footer as time ticked away to end the half sent a jubilant group of Mocs into the locker room up 38-21.
Drazen Zlovaric’s (Novi Sad, Serbia) layup with 12:11 remaining put UTC up by 20, 44-24. Casey Jones (New Orleans, La.) and Farad Cobb (West Palm Beach, Fla.) matched that lead almost four minutes later.
Jones hit the first of two free throws, but Mason hustled for the offensive board on the miss keeping possession on the Mocs’ end. He found Cobb just to the right of the top of the key who nailed a three-pointer for the four-point trip and a 51-31 lead.
It wasn’t easy, however. Chattanooga had 18 of its 23 turnovers in the second half. Its defense was well, its defense. The Mocs limited Kennesaw State to just 29.4 percent shooting after intermission including a 0-13 effort from three-point range.
The Owls closed to a single-digit deficit, 59-51, with 1:37 left on two Jordan Montgomery free throws. But the Mocs stayed tough down the stretch. Ronrico White (Knoxville, Tenn.) made five-of-six free throws to cement the win.
White and Zlovaric scored 10 points apiece for the Mocs. Zlovaric grabbed seven rebounds as UTC dominated the glass. It out-rebounded the Owls 43-22 matching its season-best plus-21 margin (Tennessee Temple).
That was pronounced on the offensive end of the floor. The Mocs grabbed 14 of its own misses while KSU managed just 12 defensive rebounds. That amounted to an 18-4 advantage in second chance points.
Chattanooga returns home Saturday opening Southern Conference play. Defending champion Davidson visits for a 7:30 p.m. tip. It’s a doubleheader with the Lady Mocs tackling Furman at 5 p.m. Tickets are available on GoMocs.com or by calling 266-MOCS (6627).