Feb. 28, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. - Chattanooga's Martynas Bareika nailed a 3-pointer sending the game into overtime and UTC outscored Western Carolina 6-0 in final 33 seconds of the extra period as the Mocs picked up an 83-81 Southern Conference win in the Ramsey Center Thursday night spoiling the Catamounts' home finale.
WCU led by as many nine points in the second half, but everything in the prior 39 minutes of play was erased when Bareika came around a screen on the left wing. He caught the pass and rose with a hand in his face sinking the triple knotting the game at 70 with eight seconds to play. The basket sent the UTC bench into a frenzy and the game into overtime as the Catamounts game winning attempted was blocked on the other end.
The Purple & Gold took the biggest lead in overtime, 78-74, following a layup by Tawaski King and a trey from Brandon Boggs with 1:51 to play. UTC's Z. Mason answered with a 3-pointer from the right corner on the ensuing Moc possession. Mason was whistled for his fifth and final foul sending Trey Sumler to the line. Sumler converted both attempts from the charity stripe giving the Catamounts an 80-77 lead with a minute remaining.
Thirty seconds later, WCU's lead hit four points, 81-77, when Tawaski King made one of two shots from the line. Chattanooga answered with a 3-pointer from Ronrice White, who on the inbounds play forced a tie up with a WCU player. WCU's players and coaches were frantically calling timeout with the possession arrow in the Moc's favor, but none was award turning the ball back over to Chattanooga with a one-point lead, 81-80, with 22 seconds to play.
Casey Jones gave the Mocs a one-point lead, 82-81, on a layup with 13 seconds to play. Following missed WCU shot, White was fouled and sent the line where he made the second of his two free throw attempts. His free throws were Chattanooga's 37th and 38th attempts from the line.
With 4.2 seconds left and WCU trailing by two points, 83-81, the Catamounts ran a final play getting the ball into the hands of Tom Tankelewicz, whose game-winning 3-point attempt came up short. Tankelewicz appeared to be fouled on the play when he pumped faked and got his defender into the air, but no call was awarded and the buzzer sounded giving the Mocs the 83-81 win and the season sweep over the Catamounts.
The win lifts the Mocs to 17-13 overall and 11-4 in the SoCon, while the Catamounts fall to 17-13 and 10-5 in league play.
The Mocs held a narrow advantage from the field converting 23 of their 50 attempts for a 46 percent, while the Catamounts made 27 of their 61 attempts for 44 percent. UTC held a 50 percent, 8-of-16, three-point field goal percentage compared to WCU's mark of 44 percent, 12-of-27. Chattanooga also held a slight edge with 36 rebounds compared to 32 for Western Carolina, but WCU only turned the ball over 13 times compared to 15 for UTC.
However, WCU was whisted for 23 fouls, 10 in the first half, 11 in the second half and two in overtime, sending UTC to the line for its 38 attempts, while the Mocs were called for 16 fouls, three in the first half, 10 in the second and three in overtime, leading to only 22 Catamount attempts. Chattanooga made 29 of its attempts for 76 percent, while Western Carolina converted only 15 attempts for 68 percent.
Boggs, who was one of five seniors along with Josh Mendenhall, Tankelewicz, Sumler and King honored prior to tipoff, led all scorers with 22 points. He made seven of his 12 attempts including four of his six 3-pointers to earn his fourth 20-point game of the season. James Sinclair followed with 19 points and a team-high nine rebounds, while Sumler tallied 15 points in his final game in the Ramsey Center in what has been a storied Catamount career for the former walk-on.
Chattanooga placed four players in double figures led by Jones, who notched 19 points going 7-of-13 from the field and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line. Mason followed with 16 points, nine of which came from the charity stripe, while Gee McGhee and White added 15 points and 13 points respectively.
Western Carolina travels to Samford for its regular season finale on Saturday, March 1 with tipoff scheduled for 6 p.m. central, 7 p.m. eastern. WCU won the first meeting between the two teams 67-64 back on January 18.
- With his game-high 22 points Thursday, Brandon Boggs moves into 21st on the WCU all-time scoring list with 1,303 career points.
- With the loss, the Catamounts fall to 11-2 in the Ramsey Center ... WCU's 11 home wins ties the 2013-14 team with the 2010-11 and 2008-09 for second in home wins under head coach Larry Hunter ... The 2009-10 team went 14-2 in Cullowhee.
- The Catamounts are now 2-1 in overtime games.