CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- Chattanooga’s men’s basketball team claimed a thrilling 79-78 win over Elon in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference Tournament in the McKenzie Arena Saturday night. The win propels the Mocs into the semifinals where they will face Samford at 8:30 p.m. Sunday evening.
The Mocs did so by the narrowest of margins with a defensive stop on the game’s final possession.
“It was the longest play of my life,” said Mocs senior forward Kevin Goffney. “That was the scariest feeling...I was saying, ‘please don’t go in’ (on the final shot).”
Chattanooga led by as many as 15 points, 67-52 with 9:33 to play, but the Phoenix would not be easily dismissed. Elon put together a 21-6 run to tie the score at 73-all with 4:57 to play on an old-fashioned three-point play by Devan Carter.
Chris Long gave the Phoenix their first lead since the first half, 79-78, on a three-point jumper with 1:57 to play. It was the last points Elon would register.
Goffney put the Mocs up for good, 79-78 on two free throws with 1:16 left to play. Chattanooga did make it easy on itself missing four free throws down the stretch.
Following an Elon timeout with 11 seconds to play, Carter’s last second shot missed the mark and Chattanooga held on for the win.
Goffney led four Chattanooga players in double figures with 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Nicchaeus Doaks just missed a double-double with 17 points and nine boards and was three-for-three from the three-point line. Doaks’ ninth rebound was the 800th of his career.
Stephen McDowell went five-for-five from beyond the arc in the second half scoring 15 of his 17 points in that frame. Sheard scored all 12 of his points from the 3-point line making four-of-eight on the night while dishing out seven assists against just 11 turnovers.
Ola Atoyebi led all scorers with 20 points for the Phoenix and grabbed nine rebounds. Long was six-for-eight from beyond the arc to notch 18 points to go with three assists. James was the third Elon player in double figures with 10 points.
The Mocs shot 60.9 percent (14-for-23) in the second half and were 52.7 percent from the floor overall with a 12-for-24 performance from the 3-point line.
Samford was a 76-67 winner of The Citadel in the other quarterfinal game in the Mocs bracket. Davidson will meet College of Charleston at 6 p.m. in the first semifinal matchup.