The Chattanooga Mocs got a career-high 29 points in an 84-79 loss at VMI in Cameron Hall Saturday afternoon. The 29 matched Malachi Smith’s 29 at Tennessee State for the individual high by a Moc this season.
VMI was paced by the trio of Jake Stephens, Greg Parham and Kamdyn Curfman who combined for 67 of their 84 tallied. Stephen and Parham had 25 each, while Curfman added 17. Stefan Kenić scored 19 for Chattanooga with Smith putting together another double-double performance with 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Keydets led for a majority of the contest. The Mocs made inroads and got close but every turn was thwarted by VMI on its offensive end of the floor.
“I was really disappointed in our inability to defend,” Coach Lamont Paris summed up.” I couldn’t be any more disappointed to be honest with you. Even at halftime we challenged them. We gave up 37 points and were on track to give up 80, and we gave up 84. I was really disappointed in our defense in a general rule, the entire game really.”
VMI shot 50.9 percent for the game, 58.8 percent from 3pt range. The took their biggest lead of 13, 76-63, with 3:11 to play on two Sean Conway free throws. The Mocs have found a way through late deficits throughout the season, and today appeared to be no exception.
A three-point play followed by a three-point jumper by Jean-Baptiste got the margin to just six, 76-70, with 1:45 to go. A defensive stop followed, and Jean-Baptiste had a good look for three in front of his bench. It came out and the battle for the rebound went out of bounds for the Keydets. They inbounded long to Myles Lewis over the press for the dunk and an eight-point lead with 1:01 to play. It got within four twice, but VMI held off the charge to claim the win.
The Mocs return home Wednesday hosting Samford. The 7 p.m., tipoff features on ESPN+ and over the airwaves in Chattanooga via WFLI 97.7 FM and 1070 AM is you prefer the veteran vocal talent of “Voice of the Mocs” Jim Reynolds.