It was not for the faint of heart. The Chattanooga Mocs out-lasted the ETSU Bucs 53-51 Monday night in McKenzie Arena. The Bucs hit a three with 3.0 to play to go up 54-53, but it was waved off coming after the Bucs bench called for a timeout.
It was defensive struggle to the finish. KC Hankton missed on a three from the top of the key but managed to grab his own rebound and pass the ball to Darius Banks who was fouled with 9.0 on the clock and a 51-50 lead. Banks coolly nailed both for the three-point advantage.
David Jean-Baptiste made the Mocs sixth foul near halfcourt. The Bucs got the ball to Ledarrius Brewer who was fouled by Malachi Smith with 4.6 to go. Brewer made the first and missed the second on purpose. Vonnie Patterson collected the board and kicked it straight out to Damari Monsanto in the corner whose three swished at 2.6, however timeout was taken.
Monsanto got another decent look for a game-winner but it rimmed out giving the Mocs the sweep. Caldwell led the Mocs with 11 points and five rebounds, while Hankton and Smith each tallied 10. Brewer led all scorers with 19.
“They shot a shot there at the end and had called a timeout thankfully,” Coach Lamont Paris shared. “I was so enthralled in the moment of not getting the rebound, that I wasn’t even focused on that quite as much. It’s just one of those things … like in the NFL when they call a timeout right before a field goal kicker kicks it. Just a weird scenario.
“It’s really a heads-up play to be honest with you [to call the timeout.] Look at the shot that they generated at the end, and guys get frazzled sometimes in those moments, so it’s really a heads-up play on [ETSU’s coach] part.”
The 3-game home sprint closes Wednesday night with a visit from Western Carolina. FANS are also back for the whirlwind stretch of games with a capacity of 1,000 allowed in the Roundhouse.
Tickets are still available and can be purchased here or by calling (423) 266-MOCS (6627). Limited supply remains. Student tickets are free (as always) but reservation is required here. All tickets are general admission this season with social distancing required between seat blocks.
The games air on ESPN+ or over the airwaves in Chattanooga via WFLI 97.7 FM and 1070 AM.