published Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Mocs 0-10 on road after 88-87 defeat

Ricky Taylor tipped in a shot as the final horn sounded Saturday night.

But his final two points left the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga one short in a 88-87 Southern Conference basketball loss at Elon.

The loss dropped the Mocs to 9-12 overall, 3-5 in the SoCon, and leaves them winless in 10 road games this season.

"You can't score 87 and lose," senior Omar Wattad said on the UTC postgame radio show. "It's tough. They played very well offensively."

Lucas Troutman led Elon's players with 21 points. Austin Hamilton added 20 points, Jack Isenbarger scored 19 and Ryley Beaumont had 15. The rest of the Phoenix combined for 13.

The Mocs were led by 25 points from Wattad, who shot 8-of-19 from the floor. Zaccheus Mason, hobbled by a knee injury, scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Taylor added 17 points.

"Giving up 88 points, you're not going to win games -- no way," UTC coach John Shulman told radio announcer Jim Reynolds. "Offensively, I can't ask any more. But defensively we have to go back to work.

"It's same ol' same ol'."

The Mocs trailed for most of the first half and were down by nine with 8:25 to go before halftime, but they responded.

Shulman drew up a play with 5.3 seconds left in the half. Ronrico White inbounded the ball from the sideline, sprinted to the right corner, caught a pass and buried a 3 from that spot as time expired. It gave the Mocs a 41-38 lead at the break.

The Mocs expanded their lead to 53-41, which forced Elon coach Matt Matheny to call for time with 15:39 to go in the game.

Brett Ervin capped an Elon rally and gave the Phoenix a 65-63 lead. The teams remained within at least six points the rest of the game.

Elon led by three points with 6.8 seconds to go after two free throws from Isenbarger. Then Mocs point guard Keegan Bell drove down the court and launched a 3-pointer from the right wing in an attempt to tie the game.

It missed. Taylor followed it with a tip-in. But that only counted for two points and not the three UTC needed in the final seconds.

"It's a tough loss," Mason said on 105.1 FM. "Scoring 87 points is more than enough to win any game on the road. But we have to turn it around."

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