Clutch’s second-half shots help elevate men’s basketball over Murray State, 69-66


CHATTANOOGA – The Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball team used clutch second-half shots and a strong first-half performance by Jake Stephens to help topple big middle power Murray State, 69-66, in front of a raucous 2,934 fans inside the McKenzie Arena on Saturday night. .

Following the win, Chattanooga earns its first win over MSU since 2007 and improves to 3-3 this season. Murray State falls to a similar 3-3 record after the loss.

“I’m proud of our guys and I want to thank the crowd for coming out and supporting us. It wasn’t the prettiest of games, so the good thing is you figure out how to win a tough game against a tough team at Murray State,” the coach said. Chief Dan Earl.

“Overall I think we got some good minutes from all the guys. Every little thing matters, especially in a tight game like this. It feels good to get a win like this at home.”

Jake Stephens hit a 3-pointer in the top of the key after an offensive rebound from Jamaal Walker to make it 9-8 (17:08) before four quick points gave MSU a 12-9 lead (15:15). 31). The Racers saw four different players connect on a three in the early stages as they built a 20-13 lead (11:44) in under-12 means.

Stephens continued to supply the Mocs offense in the first half when his second three of the game forced Murray State into a timeout and cut the deficit to two, 22-20 (7:53). After Stephens scored five more points, Brody Robinson hit a long 3-pointer to give UTC a brief 30-28 lead (4:20) before MSU led 34-30 into halftime.

Murray State opened its biggest lead of the game at seven, 40-33 (17:23), early in the second half. Chattanooga responded with a 10-1 run culminating in Dalvin White’s 3-pointer for a 43-41 lead (13:42). Six down, Jamaal Walker hit his first 3-pointer to bring UTC within one possession, 52-49 (7:02).

Jamal Johnson caught fire for the next three minutes and connected on three straight deep passes to allow Chattanooga to regain a 58-57 lead (4:09) and force MSU into a timeout when McKenzie Arena blew up. UTC continued the streak and built an eight-point lead, 65-57, with just 2:08 remaining after a 3-pointer by Jamaal Walker.

The Racers made things very interesting late on with a quick 7-0 run to pull within one, 65-64, with 23 seconds remaining in the game. Stephens and Johnson were perfect at the free throw line down the stretch as UTC watched as all three of Murray State’s game-tying attempts hit the rim for a 69-66 victory.

Stephens led all scorers with 27 points and earned his third double-double of the season with another game-high 11 rebounds. Johnson followed with 13 points and seven boards, while Demetrius Davis reached double figures with 10 points.

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DISCS/SERIES – Chattanooga 3-3 · Murray State 3-3 · Murray State now leads the all-time series 7-3.

– The loafers now 3-1 all-time against Racers at home…first win over Murray State at home and in series since Dec. 29, 2007…UTC led by just 8:57 vs. Murray State leading by almost 27 minutes (26:43).

– Chattanooga made a season-high 14 free throws… tied a season-high 17 attempts… went 11-for-13 (84.6%) in the second half to help seal the win.

– Jake Stephens scored 20 of his 27 points in the first half…shot 8-of-14 from the ground and 3-of-5 from deep in the first 20 minutes…also grabbed 7 of his 11 rebounds in the first half. .. third double-double of the season.

Coach Earl on the difference in a close game down the stretch.
“I think we managed not to make better shots tonight. That’s something we also talked about in a lively Thanksgiving morning practice and another tough practice yesterday. We’ve got a bunch of great character guys. You could feel it tonight, we had a lot of open shots and we just weren’t hitting them. That can be hard for everyone, the fans, the coaches and certainly the players who go through it. I think we did a much better job of not letting it affect our defense and other facets of the game. play”.

Jamal Johnson on trust.
“My teammates. I love my teammates, they kept motivating me and giving me positive feedback. They kept telling me to keep going. I love my coaches and teammates for aspiring to be the best I can be. It felt good to see some come in.”

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NEXT – at Tennessee Tech – Wednesday, November 30 – 7:00 pm ET – Cookeville, Tenn.

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