CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- The Chattanooga Mocs (1-2) dropped a 77-65 decision to a hot-shooting Southeast Missouri (3-1) squad in McKenzie Arena Sunday. The Red Hawks made 69.6 percent (16-23) of its shots in the second half to secure the win.
Drazen Zlovaric (Novi Sad, Serbia) and Z. Mason (Nashville, Tenn.) led UTC with 14 points apiece while grabbing seven and six rebounds, respectively. The duo was joined in double digits by Gee McGhee (Baton Rouge, La.) with 10 points.
Corey Wilford came off the bench to lead all scorers with 21 for the Red Hawks. He and Marland Smith combined for 32 of their 37 reserve points after intermission. The second half outburst for SEMO built on its six-point halftime cushion. Wilford scored all of his 21 after the mid-point.
Casey Jones' (New Orleans, La.) nailed a three-pointer at 18:26 to get Chattanooga within two, 31-29. Smith then capped a 12-0 run for the Red Hawks with a three-pointer at 14:17 to put SEMO up 14, 44-30. UTC closed to within nine seven times after Smith's trey, but could draw any nearer on the afternoon.
Southeast Missouri got an outstanding effort from its starting post players. Tyler Stone and Nino Johnson combined for 23 points and 19 rebounds largely behind Stone's double-double of 16 points and 11 boards. The duo also made five of the Red Hawks eight blocks today.
UTC edged SEMO 38-35 on the glass. Its 18 offensive boards resulted in 24 second chance points to a mere two for the Red Hawks who grabbed just three offensive rebounds over the 40 minutes.
The Mocs return to the Roundhouse tomorrow for day two of the CBE Classic Chattanooga Sub-Regional. Troy is on deck at 7 p.m., before Tuesday night's matchup with Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m., as well. SEMO and La Tech meet at 4:30 p.m., Monday. Tickets are available at GoMocs.com or by calling 266-MOCS (6627).
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