In front of the largest crowd since 2009, the Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball team raced its way to a dominating 100-39 win over Covenant College on Tuesday afternoon inside McKenzie Arena. 8,910 were on hand as part of Hamilton County Literacy Day.
Following the victory, Chattanooga improves to 5-0 this season and extends its non-conference win streak to 17 games and home non-conference win streak to 16. Covenant stays at 4-1 this year as this game was played as an exhibition for the NCAA Division III members.
“You never know a game is going to go like that. We had times like that. In the first half, if you’re not mature about how you handle it, the game can look different. The guys were really, really mature with how they handled the game especially when we got up,” said head coach Lamont Paris.
“That’s a very difficult thing to do, as a player or a coach. We didn’t have any slippage and I thought we were very mature.”
Chattanooga raced out to a 16-7 lead early on behind eight quick points from Silvio De Sousa. The Mocs continued to apply the pressure and went up 26-7 with 10:47 in the first half behind threes from AJ Caldwell, Malachi Smith and David Jean-Baptiste.
UTC would roll on a 15-6 run to extend out to a 41-13 lead from that point and saw buckets from eight different players during the first half stretch. Josh Ayeni scored the half’s final five points including a buzzer-beating three to send the hosts to the locker room up by a commanding 48-16 margin.
Chattanooga opened the second half with a flurry of dunks from De Sousa and Darius Banks to open up a 62-23 lead with 15:08 on the clock. The Mocs defense continued to be pesky and the offense was efficient in the second half as the lead continued to grow, eventually finalizing at 100-39 on a Ledford three ball.
UTC featured six guys in double digits with Ledford leading the way with a game and a career-high 18 points. Smith, Ayeni and De Sousa all finished with 14 while Banks and Diggs added 13 points each in the victory. Ayeni completed the double-double with 10 boards ahead of quality glass efforts from De Sousa (9), Smith (6) and Ledford (6). Chattanooga out-scored Covenant 48-12 in the paint and posted a 45-15 advantage in points off the bench in addition to a 24-2 edge in points off turnovers.