Mocs Hold On To Beat VMI 74-68

Thursday, February 16, 2017
The Chattanooga Mocs held off a pesky VMI squad earning a 74-68 Southern Conference road victory Wednesday night. They did it with timely shooting and by limiting the Keydets star guard Q.J. Peterson.
While the Mocs held the lead for nearly the entirety (38:49) of the contest, VMI would not go away. Tre’ McLean sent the squad into halftime with a nine-point advantage, 34-25, on a buzzer-beating 3pt. Three of his career-high five triples were just ahead of the shot or game clock.
The Keydets nibbled away at the lead getting within two, 49-47, on a Keith Smith free throw at 11:07.
Chattanooga out-scored their hosts 14-6 over the next six-plus minutes for a 10-point lead, 63-53. McLean’s three-point attempt rimmed out and Johnathan Burroughs-Cook’s layup was just off the mark to extend it past 10.
VMI broke out of a 2-for-10 slump with five quick points on a Peterson layup and Julian Eleby three with 3:51 remaining to cut the margin in half, 63-58. McLean drilled his fifth triple to calm the proceedings.
It would not be easy. Two Armani Branch free throws cut the lead back to four, 68-64, inside 40 seconds to go. The Keydets fouled Burroughs-Cook in the frontcourt with 29.5 ticks left. He hit both ends of the one-and-bonus. The defense forced a turnover setting up two more Greg Pryor free throws nine seconds later. Chattanooga was 6-for-6 in the final 30 seconds to cement the win.
McLean led the way with 19 points and seven rebounds. Greg Pryor and Casey Jones also scored in double figures with 16 and 12, respectively, while 2-time SoCon Defensive Player of the Year Justin Tuoyo added six blocks.
In the first meeting, Peterson torched the Mocs for 40 points. He was held to just 12 tonight. Branch tallied 23 points with nine boards. Eleby chipped in 14 points, while Trey Chapman added 10 points and nine rebounds.
This Saturday’s ETSU game includes the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the 1977 NCAA Division II National Championship squad. The Mocs plan a commemorative t-shirt as well as a fantastic ticket bargain.
General admission seating is just $5 with kids who come to the game in their youth jersey admitted free. Call (423) 266-MOCS (6627) 

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