CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.---Chattanooga Mocs senior Z. Mason (Nashville, Tenn.) had a career night propelling his squad to an 86-68 win over visiting Hiwassee. Mason tallied 41 points and 12 rebounds becoming the first Moc since Ricky Taylor (Jan. 27, 2011 vs. UNCG) to top the 40-point mark.
“Z. Mason was really good,” Head Coach Will Wade said. “I thought Casey Jones played well. Outside of that, we really weren’t very good. We have to hope this knocked the rust off and our exam break off of us.”
Mason made 16 of 20 shots including three of four from 3pt range. Casey Jones (New Orleans, La.) tied his career high with 17 points, while Martynas Bareika (Kedainiai, Lithuania) added 10 points in his first start of the season.
Hiwassee also got a spectacular performance from reserve guard Howie Meadows from nearby Meigs County, Tenn. Meadows made eight three-pointers en route to a 26-point game keeping his team in the game for the first 20 minutes.
The Tigers led 36-30 on a Jeff Waggoner three with 3:36 to go in the first half. Mason and Jones combined for nine straight points including a buzzer-beating tip-in for Jones to send Chattanooga into the break leading 39-36.
“Our effort defensively was our most disappointing aspect of the first half,” Wade continued. “Our effort was by-far the worst part. We couldn’t guard the ball, and we let the shooter free the whole half.”
The duo continued the run into the second half. It turned into a 27-7 spurt for Mason and Jones as Mason’s 31st and 32nd points made it a 57-43 lead with 14:07 remaining. Anthanee Doyle (Holly Springs, N.C.) made it a 16-point game with a jumper at 13:30. It was the first basket for the Mocs not scored by Mason or Jones in 10-and-a-half minutes of clock time.
It would get no closer than 14 the rest of the way. Mason’s 41st point gave the Mocs their biggest advantage of 23, 80-57, with 4:14 to play.
“We were better in the second half,” Wade added. “I think they scored 11 points in about the first 11 minutes of the second half. That was good and what we should do, but give Hiwassee credit.
“They broke us down off the dribble, got us in over-help situations and found the open man,” he stated. “They shared the ball and made the extra pass.”
Chattanooga shot 56.1 percent (32-57) from the field including 43.8 percent (7-16) from beyond the arc. It won the battle of the glass 43-26 which led to a 22-4 advantage in second chance points.
Hiwassee’s Meadows was eight for 12 from 3pt range. He hit five of his eight keying the Tigers first-half heroics. Justin Browner chipped in 13 points, while Joel Bailey added nine points, five rebounds, six assists and three steals.
Mason’s night was pretty special. It was the first 30-point, 10-rebound game since Oliver Morton (1999-01) at Appalachian State on January 29, 2000. It is the only 40-point, 10-board game in the DI era (since 1977-78).
““Z wanted it,” Wade said. “We had mismatch in there, and we emptied our playbook to him. He made simple plays, and Casey did too. Casey just drove it to the rim and had a bunch of offensive rebounds.
“They played within themselves.”
Chattanooga hits the road this Sunday traveling to Northern Kentucky. The Noon tip with the Norse can be followed live on ESPN 105.1 FM the Zone in Chattanooga, or go to the men’s basketball schedule page on GoMocs.com for links to audio (free) and live stats. You can follow @GoMocsMBB on twitter for live updates as well.
GoMocs.com is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs. The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page or on Twitter. Find out how to join the UTC Mocs Club and support more than 300 student-athletes by clicking here.