BOONE, N.C. --- The Chattanooga Mocs (10-18/4-11) bench led a valiant second-half comeback that fell short in a 79-70 loss at Appalachian State (11-15/7-9). The reserves scored 45 points, 39 after intermission.
Junior Dontay Hampton (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and freshman Ronrico White (Knoxville, Tenn.) each tallied career highs with 17 and 16 points, respectively. Hampton added six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Mike Neal scored a game-high 23 points for the Mountaineers. Isaac Butts came off the bench to add six points, but he was a dominant presence on the boards with 16.
ASU led by as many as 21, 52-31, on a Butts free throw at 15:47. It was at that point Mocs head coach John Shulman emptied the bench looking for a spark. That's just what he got.
He relied on the likes of Hampton, White, Jared Bryant (Cincinnati, Ohio), Drew Baker (Knoxville, Tenn.) Martynas Bareika (Kedainiai, Lithuania) and Lance Stokes (Orlando, Fla.) the rest of the way. Hampton, White, Bryant and Bareika all played the final 16 minutes.
It was a scrappy effort by the bench. A Bareika layup with 8:10 chipped the lead down to 12, 61-49, forcing a Mountaineer timeout. White made it an 11-point game, 66-55, with 5:44 to go.
The Mocs sliced the margin to nine on a strong slam by Baker with an even two minutes to go. Hampton, White and Hampton again got the margin back to nine, but UTC would get no closer.
Bryant had seven points and seven rebounds in the second half making all three shots. Hampton (11) and White (16) combined for 27 of their 33 points in those final 15-plus minutes. White was effective getting the free throw stripe making eight of 10 attempts.
The Mocs won the battle of the boards 46-42 despite Butts' huge effort. A season-high 22 of those rebounds came on the offensive end. Drazen Zlovaric (Novi Sad, Serbia) had a team-high nine to go with 12 points.
UTC struggled shooting the ball. It started out hitting 26.5 percent in the first half. That improved a bit after intermission to 40 percent, but it ended with the Mocs hitting 33.3 percent for the evening, 24.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Chattanooga returns to McKenzie Arena to take on The Citadel at 7 p.m. Listen to the "Voice of the Mocs" Jim Reynolds on ESPN 105.1 FM in Chattanooga or on GoMocs.com via MocsVision. Follow @GoMocs on twitter for stats and notes in game and go to GoMocs.com for links to live stats as well as post-game information.
The SoCon Saturday ticket package is available which includes ticket and food for each Saturday league game throughout the season. It provides one reserved ticket and a food voucher for a small coke, popcorn and pizza all for $10. It must be purchased in advance of game day.
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