Eastern Kentucky guard Glenn Cosey had plenty of confidence during pregame warmups.
"Oh, this is our house tonight," he said during layups in McKenzie Arena, home of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Cosey proved to be prophetic.
He led the Colonels to a 63-52 win over the Mocs on Saturday by scoring 23 points and playing every second before an announced crowd of 2,317.
"I thought he was phenomenal," UTC coach John Shulman said. "He's a junior college All-America who's a shot-maker. One he made over a hand from 25 feet.
"If our guys shoot that, I'm mad at them, and he knocks them in."
Cosey and his teammates applied intense defensive pressure in the early minutes and forced turnovers on UTC's first seven possessions. The fans who stood from the opening tip until UTC's first bucket stood for almost the entire first five minutes of the game.
"They got out wide in the passing lanes and they weren't allowing us to enter our offense," said guard Ronrico White, who started at the point and had three turnovers in the first two minutes. "It's really my fault. No matter who's turning it over, I have to be better."
The game opened with Cosey hitting a 3-pointer. The Mocs (2-6) came down, and a pass from White hit Zaccheus Mason in the shoulder then bounced out of bounds.
"We came out really sloppy," said Mason, who finished with six points and nine rebounds. "The first few turnovers set us back on how we wanted to come out. We should have come out better than that."
The Mocs, who have had offensive struggles all season against Division I competition, made 21 turnovers and shot 18-of-42 from the floor and 14-of-22 from the free throw line. Drazen Zlovaric led UTC with 12 points.
They still haven't scored more than 65 points this season against a D-I team.
"We had just a horrendous start and we were rattled," said Shulman, who compared preparing for EKU (9-0) like preparing to play an option football team.
UTC's first point came almost four minutes into the game, and its first field goal came 4 minutes, 50 seconds after tipoff. The Mocs trailed 14-1 at the first media timeout and 23-12, 28-14 and 31-16 before going into halftime down 33-18. They committted 12 turnovers and shot 7-of-18 from the floor in the first 20 minutes.
Shulman ditched his coat and tie at halftime, returning to the bench with his sleeves rolled up.
EKU opened a 51-28 lead with 12:54 to play. UTC outscored the Colonels 24-12 over the final 12 minutes, including a 10-0 spurt as the Mocs went to their half-court trapping defense.
"Take away the [11-0] start and the two 25-footers Cosey hit, and I'll take those  points," Shulman said. "If we would have come out with that fight, it would have been a different basketball game.
"They're down. It ain't no fun to lose."
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...