Mocs dispatch Bucs in 93-59 rout
Junior Ben Rhoda had 12 points in the loss to UTC.
Junior Ben Rhoda had 12 points in the loss to UTC.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Jan. 22, 2005) - Chattanooga junior forward Alphonso Pugh scored 23 points and the Mocs shot 59 percent from the floor to take a 93-59 win over East Tennessee State Saturday afternoon at McKenzie Arena.

 

The Mocs broke a four-game losing streak to the Bucs, which included back-to-back losses to ETSU in the Southern Conference Tournament Championship.

 

"Give UTC credit, they have a really good team and they showed that tonight," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "We just got whipped. We had some open looks from 3(-point range) in the first half and if those had gone down it might have been a bit closer. But they just played really well."

 

UTC, now 12-4 and 5-1 in the SoCon, raced out to a 9-0 lead a little more than three minutes into the game.  The lead was 16-6 on a Pugh  bucket at 13:34 of the first half.  After ETSU's Dillion Sneed (Chicago) trimmed the margin by two on the next trip down the court, the Mocs ran out on a 13-2  run to enjoy a 29-12 lead at 7:56 of the first period. ETSUs Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.) hit a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer for the halftime margin of 45-30 UTC.

 

The Bucs, 6-11 and 2-5, got as close as 14 on another Smith triple at 18:37 of the second half.  The Mocs used a 12-2 blitz, including four points by Chris Brown, to increase the deficit to 59-35 at the 14:43 mark.

 

Pugh's layup at 10:55 gave UTC a 69-48 lead and put the margin over the 20-point mark for good.  A Casey Long three-point play, followed by a Pugh field goal, capped a 15-2 Mocs march to take the lead into the 30s, 84-50 with 5:03 to play.

 

UTCs largest lead came on two Jerice Crouch free throws which gave the Mocs an 88-53 edge.  Ben Rhodas layup with 1:44 remaining enabled ETSUs deficit to dip below 30 at 88-59, but that would be the Bucs' final points of the game.

 

While Pugh led the way, Chattanooga's Chris Brown had 15 points, while Mindaugas Katelynas and Casey Long finished with 14 points apiece. Katelynas and Brown finished with double-doubles thanks to 10 and 12 rebounds, respectively. ETSU got 16 points from Smith, while junior guard Ben Rhoda (Dayton, Ohio) and sophomore guard Travis Strong (Memphis) ended the game with 12 apiece.

 

The Bucs will return to action Monday night as they host The Citadel at Memorial Center. Tip time is set for 7 p.m.

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