Moctoberfest is a month-long celebration of Chattanooga Mocs men's basketball. It includes historical moments, social media interactions and introduction to UTC's freshmen among the myriad of video tributes and stories.
Day Five is a video memory of one of the iconic plays in Southern Conference Tournament history. Despite it coming in a loss, Gerald Wilkins' four-point play in the 1984 SoCon Championship game is still talked about especially with the tournament's return to the Asheville Civic Center in 2012.
That game is considered the greatest of all time in the league tournament as Chattanooga and Marshall squared off. The hot-shooting Herd jumped out early and led by 15 at the break.
Down 13 with six-and-a-half minutes to play, the Mocs went on a furious run to cut the lead to two on a Gerald Wilkins jumper with 2:51 to go. UTC couldn't seem to get it back to even and was down 4 after two Laverne Evans free throws gave the Herd an 87-83 cushion with 39 seconds to go.
Enter Wilkins. One of the all-time Moc greats made a play for the ages. He nailed a three-pointer while drawing a foul from David Wade and hit the free throw to tie the game at 87-all and send into overtime.
In a game like this, one overtime just doesn't cut it. Eric Brown hit a triple late in the first OT period to send it to a second tied at 92-all.
The two teams then combined for 34 points over the final five minutes of clock time. Unfortunately, UTC landed on the short end of the 111-107 thriller.
The Mocs led just twice in the game. The first came on the first basket of overtime as Willie White put his squad up 89-87. The second was on Brown's trey at 3:08 in the second extra frame for a 97-96 lead.
Marshall had to play near flawless basketball to win. It shot 60.7 percent (37-61) from the field and 75.5 percent (37-49 ) from the free throw line while committing just 10 turnovers in 50 minutes. The Herd did not attempt a single shot from the new-fangled three-point arc.
UTC however did make six of 14 (42.9%) from beyond the arc with all six coming in the final five minutes of regulation and the overtime periods. White scored 28 points to go with eight rebounds, while Wilkins tossed in 24 including four very special one to provide 10 extra minutes to this instant classic. The Herd's Evans led all scorers with 38 points including a 14-14 effort from the free throw line.
Played in front of a capacity crowd of 6,864, it was an unforgettable game.
Chattanooga opens the season Monday, November 12, against Tennessee Temple in McKenzie Arena at 7 p.m. Season tickets for a school-record 18-game home slate are available. Call 266-MOCS (6627), go online here at GoMocs.com or stop by the Gate One McKenzie Arena Ticket Office.
Find out how to join the UTC Mocs Club and support more than 300 student-athletes by clicking here.