Feb. 17, 2005
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Chattanooga senior Chris Brown registered a double-double, with 18 points and 10 rebounds, but it was eight free throws inside the final 1:05 by Casey Long which lifted the Mocs to a 75-66 victory over Western Carolina Thursday night at the Ramsey Activity Center. Chattanooga, leaders of the Southern Conference North Division, improve to 16-8, 9-5 in the SoCon, while the Catamounts fall to 8-19, 3-11.
Chattanooga dominated two statistical categories to secure the victory. First, the Mocs out-rebounded Western, 51-32, including 21 offensive boards for UTC. In addition to Brown's 10 rebounds, senior Mindaugus Katelynas pulled down a game-high 14 boards. Also, thanks to Long's effort at the line, Chattanooga drained 20-of-29 free throw attempts, compared to the Cats' making just 5-of-18 at the line, including just 1-of-10 in the second half.
Chattanooga raced to an 11-0 to start the game, but Western, thanks to reserve Negus McKenna, answered with a 17-4 run to take a two-point lead (17-15) at the 10:36 mark of the first half. The Mocs' Matt Malone sank five free throws during a 13-1 UTC run to put the Mocs up eight (26-18) with 5:12 left before the break. Chattanooga's prowess on the boards paid off in the Mocs taking a seven-point lead at the break. On one possession, Chattanooga got three chances to score, thanks to two rebounds by A.J. Mastin and one by Alphonso Pugh. Pugh took his rebound and converted a layup to make the score 32-25 at halftime.
After an early spurt by Western to stat the second half, Chattanooga rallied to take an 11-point lead (42-11) after two Pugh free throws with 15:24 left to play. The Catamounts answered with a 14-3 run to tie the game at 45 with 11:44 remaining.
As they had done before, Chattanooga answered Western's run with a run of their own, immediately taking an 11-point lead. A McKenna jumper with 4:13 left cut Western's deficit to five (59-54), but that is as close as the Cats would get.
In addition to Brown's 18 points, Charles Anderson chipped in 11 points and rebounds, while Katelynas added nine points, three assists and three steals.
For the Catamounts, David Berghoefer led the way with a game-high 21 points and seven rebounds. Trey Hopkins drained four 3-pointers en route to scoring 14 points, while McKenna scored a career-high 14 points (4-of-9 from 3-point range) with four assists. Rans Brempong tied his own school record with seven blocked shots. It marks the second time this season the SoCon's all-time leader in rejections has accomplished the feat and the third time of his career.
Western Carolina will return to action Tuesday (Feb. 22) at Appalachian State. Tip-of is set for 7 pm and the game will be telecast on C-SET TV.