BATON ROUGE, La. --- Z. Mason (Nashville, Tenn.) and Ronrico White (Knoxville, Tenn.) posted career highs in the Chattanooga Mocs (2-7) 80-67 loss tonight at LSU (6-0). Mason tallied his first 20-point night with 22, while White poured in 17.
The Tigers were led by a duo of their own. Johnny O'Bryant III and Andre Stringer each scored 18. O'Bryant added a game-high 10 rebounds.
LSU led by as many as 15 early in the second half, but the Mocs would not roll over. Jared Bryant (Cincinnati, Ohio) cut the lead to eight, 52-44, on a strong power post move with 14:54 to go in the game.
Martynas Bareika (Kedainiai, Lithuania) sandwiched a Drazen Zlovaric (Novi Sad, Serbia) layup with two of his own, running the floor to get the Mocs within five, 55-50, at 12:18. The next trip down, a Mason three-pointer cut the margin to two, 55-53.
But that is as close as UTC would get. LSU went on an 11-0 run capped by a Stringer jumper to take control of the game. The Mocs got no closer than 11 the rest of the way.
"The first thing I told them in the locker room is very simple," Head Coach John Shulman stated. "You know you've gotten better when you go to an SEC venue against an undefeated SEC team, and you felt like you gave it away. We made enough silly mental mistakes and blunders to win the basketball game."
For just the second time this season, Chattanooga was out-rebounded by a foe. The Tigers held a 46-39 advantage on the glass including 15 on the offensive boards. LSU also out-scored the Mocs 38-20 in the paint.
It was a see-saw affair in the first half. After the Tigers scored the game's first seven points, Chattanooga scored nine unanswered of its own taking its first lead, 9-7, on a White jumper. LSU jumped back up six, 15-9, scoring the next eight points ending with Charles Carmouche's two free throws at 13:01.
Mason's trey evened the score, 20-20, at 10:30. On the Mocs' next possession, Mason's offensive rebound kept the play alive and White nailed a three for the 23-20 lead. LSU closed the half on a 22-7 run to take a 42-30 lead into intermission.
"You know I've got the utmost confidence in Farad Cobb shooting that ball, and he got unbelievable looks at the basket," Shulman added. "Gee (McGhee) got really good looks inside the three-point line that didn't go, we all got good looks inside the three point line.
"I liked our offensive concept tonight," he added. "I thought we had better flow. It's really our second game that we're doing this, so I think we'll get better at it and better at it and better at it, but we've got to have more production from certain guys for us to be successful, and that's not a secret."
UTC returns home to wrap up the pre-holiday schedule in McKenzie Arena. Mercer invades the Scenic City at 3 p.m., Sunday, December 16, while Reinhardt stops by the following Friday, December 21, at Noon. Tickets are available on GoMocs.com or by calling (423) 266-MOCS (6627).
Listen to the exciting play-by-play from "Voice of the Mocs" Jim Reynolds on ESPN 105.1 the Zone in Chattanooga, or world-wide on GoMocs.com. MocsVision has the live video (PPV) and audio (Free) action online. You can follow @GoMocsMBB on twitter for news, notes, stats and links to game notes, live stats and more.GoMocs.com is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs. The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ChattanoogaMocs, or on Twitter, www.twitter.com/GoMocs. Find out how to join the UTC Mocs Club and support more than 300 student-athletes by clicking here.