Seniorforward Z. Mason scored 30 points and added 14 rebounds, notching his sixthdouble-double of the season, as Chattanooga earned an 82-78 victory over TheCitadel at McAlister Field House on Monday evening.
Thegame was decided in the final minutes as Citadel guard MarshallHarris III provided his team with a 75-69 lead with 3:48 remaining in thecontest. Chattanooga responded by piecing together an 8-1 run, highlighted by a3-pointer by Martynas Bareika, as the Mocs assumed a 77-76 with 1:40 on theclock.
AshtonMoore knocked down a pair of critical free throws for the Bulldogs (4-12,0-1 SoCon), who regained the lead 78-77, but five unanswered points down thestretch by the Mocs, including a free throw by Mason, made for the four-pointfinal.
Withan eight-point lead in hand following the intermission, The Citadel used3-pointers by Harris and MattVan Scyoc to stretch the lead to 48-36 in less than minutes.
GregPryor drew a foul from Moore to narrow the lead to 10, but it was eightstraight points by Mason that keyed a 10-0 Chattanooga run as the lead wastrimmed to 48-46 with 17:03 remaining.
Fourpoints off the hand of QuintonMarshall kept The Citadel in front, 56-53, before a timely trey by EricRobertson brought the game to a 56-56 tie with 11:51 left.
Alayup by White followed by two Moore free throws gave the Dogs a four-pointlead, 60-56, but back-to-back buckets by Mason knotted the game at 60-all withjust over 10 minutes to go in the game.
TheDogs stretched their lead back to four, 69-65, following a layup by Van Scyoc,however a 17-8 run over the final 5:07 made the difference for the Mocs.
Masonwas one of three players in the Chattanooga lineup to reach double figures,joined by Casey Jones (14 points) and Ronrico White (13) as the Mocs move to8-8 overall and 2-0 in Southern Conference play.
TheCitadel was led offensively by the trio of Moore (21 points), White (20) andVan Scyoc (16). Moore not only made his impact on the offense, hitting 6-of-16from the floor and a perfect 3-of-3 from 3-point range, but he climbed theglass for a career-high nine rebounds.
Whitereached the 20-point plateau for the fourth time in his young career by virtueof hitting 8-of-15 from the field and 4-of-5 at the charity stripe. Van Scyocfound his shooting form as he knocked down 6-of-10 from the field and 4-of-6from 3-point range in the contest. It marked the third time this season andninth game in his career that Van Scyoc has hit at least four from downtown.
TheCitadel connected on 28-of-62 (45.2%) field goal attempts in the game, knockingdown 9-of-18 (50%) from 3-point range along the way. The Bulldogs gathered 38rebounds (19 rebounds) to finish with 13 second chance points.
TheMocs capped off the game by hitting 27-of-65 (41.5%) from the field and22-of-27 (81.5%) from the free throw line. Chattanooga managed to rebound froma difficult shooting first half to convert 14-of-31 (45.2%) from the floor inthe second half. UTC also came through with a solid performance at the freethrow line, hitting 16-of-21 (76.2%) to earn their 26th all-time victory inCharleston since joining the Southern Conference.
Chattanoogaclosed out the game with 41 rebounds, snagging 22 on the offensive glass, whichallowed the Mocs to finish with a 38-35 advantage in the paint.
Moorescored eight of the first 10 points for the Bulldogs who established asix-point lead in less than three minutes into the opening half beforeChattanooga responded with six unanswered, including layups by Gee McGhee andLance Stokes to bring the game to a 10-10 tie.
Afterregaining the lead on a pair of White conversions at the line, The Citadel tookadvantage of a Van Scyoc trey and a series of layups by WarrenSledge and Marshall to push the lead to 19-12.
Chattanoogaresponded to the challenge, trimming the lead to four on a layup by Stokes, butfollowing a Harris 3-pointer and a White layup The Citadel offense was back inrhythm with a 28-20 advantage.
JuniorP.J.Horgan, making his first appearance of the season after suffering a backinjury, gave the Dogs their first double-digit lead, 30-20, with 7:28remaining.
TheMocs used six points from White, including a trey at the 3:03 mark, to make fora 36-30 contest. The Citadel answered by scoring eight of the next 12 points toclose the half with a 42-34 lead.
TheBulldogs closed out one of their best first half shooting performances of theseason by knocking down 16-of-30 (53.3%) from the field and 6-of-9 (66.7%) frombeyond the arc.
TheCitadel tandem of Moore (12 points) and White (10) led the Dogs in scoring asthey combined to hit 7-of-15 from the floor. Van Scyoc capped off a nine-pointfirst half by knocking down 3-of-6 from the field, hitting all three of hisfield goals from beyond the arc.
Chattanooga,facing pressure from The Citadel defense throughout the opening half of play,wrapped up the first half hitting 13-of-34 (38.2%) from the floor.
TheCitadel heads out on a two-game road trip over the weekend that includes stopsat Wofford (Jan. 6) and Elon (Jan. 11).