Mocs Capture North Division and No. 2 Seed with 57-56 Win at Elon
Nicchaeus Doaks and Kevin Bridgewaters
ELON, N.C.---In an emotional roller-coaster of a game, Chattanooga (18-12/13-7) captured a thrilling 57-56 win at Elon (11-18/9-11). The win ties Appalachian State at 13-7 in the division, but the Mocs win the tiebreaker based on its season sweep of Elon.
It was a sloppy start for both teams as the Phoenix used an 11-2 run over 4:26 to take a 15-9 lead with 11:01 to play in the first half. The Mocs followed with 10 unanswered points in 2:52 holding Elon without a field goal for nearly four minutes to take a 19-15 lead.
Powered by 20 combined points by Marcus Watts and Stephen McDowell, the Mocs held a 24-20 advantage at the break. Watts, who played just 10 minutes due to picking up his second foul, was five-of-six shooting from the field at the break.
Chattanooga came out strong to open the second half scoring on its first three possessions to take a 29-20 lead. It extended the lead to 10 at 36-26 before the Phoenix battled back cutting the margin to five with 13:06 to play.
The Mocs stretched the lead to eight (39-31) before the Phoenix retook the lead behind a 10-0 run. A Keyron Sheard layup tied the score at 41 followed by a Matt Gwynne three-pointer to put UTC up 44-41 with 8:30 remaining.
A Brett James dunk knotted the score at 52 with 3:52 to play. With 2:40 remaining, James stepped to the line hitting both to make it 54-52. A tremendous hustle play by Khalil Hartwell on a missed shot opened the door for a great drive to the basket by Watts to tie it 54 with 2:14 to go.
James hit a clutch jumper with 57 seconds left from just inside the three-point line to put the Phoenix back up by two. Nicchaeus Doaks answered with a three-pointer putting the Mocs up 57-56 with 30.2 remaining. With the ball out of bounds under its basket with 2.4 left, Elon’s James missed an 18-footer as time expired.
UTC was led by Watts with 15 points. Doaks added 13 points and eight rebounds. The Phoenix was led by Montell Watson with 15 as James chipped in with 11.
The Mocs are off until Sat., March 8, in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference Tournament in North Charleston, S.C. Chattanooga’s opponent will be the winner of Elon and Furman.
>Senior forward Marcus Watts scored his 500th career point on a beautiful pass by Nicchaeus Doaks at 19:01 in the second half.
>Junior guard Stephen McDowell set a new season record for three-point attempts with 287. Previous record was set just last season by Keddric Mays (286).
>Junior forward Nicchaeus Doaks scored in double figures for his 16th straight game.