Men’s Basketball Off to Best Start of DI Era

The Chattanooga Mocs started fast and held on in am 81-63 win over North Georgia Saturday afternoon. It marks six up and six down as the program moves to 6-0 for the first time in the DI era.

Stefan Kenić and Malachi Smith paced four in double figures. Kenić recorded a career-high 23 points, while Smith also had a career-best with 19 points to go with a game-high 13 rebounds. Malik Hardy and Kody Shubert led North Georgia with 13 apiece.

The Mocs took control after an early deficit of 5-4. The good guys went on a 19-0 blitz capped by a strong Kenić post move with 12:07 to go in the half. The advantage rose to as many as 24 heading to the locker room ahead 48-24 on a Jaden Frazier free throw.

The lead reached 30, 60-30, on Jamaal Walker’s steal and layup with 15:43 to go. The two squads traded layups by Kody Shubert and Smith to keep at 30, 62-32, before the Nighthawks began to claw back.

The Nighthawks got as close as 14 late. Caleb Mauldin’s hook with 5:01 remaining cut the gap to 75-61. Kenić ended a three-minute scoring drought with two free throws at 4:05. Smith added two more on the next possession before Prosper Obidiebube finished the scoring with a layup off a nice look from Trey Doomes in the final minute.

Doomes ended up with 11 points, four assists and three steals. A.J. Caldwell chipped in 15 points and seven boards nearly going perfect from the field making six of seven including thee for four from long range.

The Mocs completed this week’s four-game gauntlet 4-0 with previous wins over Northern Kentucky (79-72), at Middle Tennessee (80-70) and at Bellarmine (77-68). The squad gets a quick breather before welcoming UNC Asheville to the Roundhouse for a 7 p.m., Wednesday matchup.